Waiting time in the premilking holding pen and subsequent lying and walking behaviors of Holstein cows. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to assess the effect of waiting time (WT) in the premilking holding pen on the subsequent lying and walking behaviors of Holstein cows. A total of 108 cows (multiparous n = 95; primiparous n = 13), milked 3 times/d [AM (0700 h), PM (1500 h), and nighttime (2300 h)] were monitored for individual WT, which was defined as the time elapsed between the entrance of the first cow to the milking stall in a rotary milking system and the entrance of each subsequent cow housed in the same milking pen. Data for lying time (min), standing time (min), lying bouts (no.), and walking behavior (no. of steps) in 15-min intervals were collected using a commercial 3-dimensional accelerometer affixed on the hind left leg of each cow from early to mid lactation. Mean values (min/h, no./h) for each behavior calculated between consecutive milkings were compared among 3 WT categories: cows with WT 30 min (WT1), WT 30 to 60 min (WT2), and WT >60 min (WT3). The overall mean (SD) of WT during the study period was 31.2 (23.4) min, and the distribution of WT1, WT2, and WT3 in all cows through the monitoring period was 50.9, 43.3, and 5.7%, respectively. No significant effects were established for overall WT on any of the behaviors under analysis. However, subsequent analysis by milking shift indicated that, during the period following the night milking, cows in WT1 exhibited the shortest lying time, whereas cows in WT3 had the greatest number of lying bouts. No effect of WT category was observed on the number of steps after any of the milking shifts. Results of this study indicate a moderate effect of WT on lying behavior after the nighttime milking. Variables such as temperature-humidity index, parity, and time of day affected cow behavior and should be considered when evaluating the impact of routine management practices, such as milking, on commercial farms.

published proceedings

  • JDS Commun

author list (cited authors)

  • Manrquez, D., Ziga, S., Paudyal, S., Solano, G., & Pinedo, P. J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Manríquez, D||Zúñiga, S||Paudyal, S||Solano, G||Pinedo, PJ

publication date

  • January 1, 2022 11:11 AM