Infestation assessment with Haematobia irritans in grazing cattle and stress behaviors in tropical regions


Saúl Rojas-Hernández
Miguel Á. Damián-Valdez
Virginio Aguirre-Flores
José A. Orihuela-Trujillo
Mariana Pedernera-Romano
Francisco A. Galindo-Maldonado
Fernando I. Flores-Pérez
Jaime Olivares Pérez



Objective: To evaluate the infestation with flies in grazing cattle, and its relationship with some behaviors (tail butting, head butting, kicking and rubbing) that alter animal welfare, through direct observation and use of photographs.

Design/Methodology/Approach: At two times (7:00 and 14:00 h) the variables were measured on thirty naturally infested cows and randomly distributed in two treatments: TS: control without deworming and TD: chemically dewormed.

Results: The fly infestation were higher (p < 0.001) in TS cows (483.7 flies/animal), they also, expressed with greater intensity (p < 0.001) and frequency of upset behaviors: tail-tapping (10.84 movements min-1), head-butting (1.66), kicking (0.51) and rubbing (0.33) in order to drive away the annoying contact and aggression of the ectoparasite.

Limitations: More in deep research is needed in order to assess the physiological disorders that this parasite could cause by altering well-being of grazing cattle in the tropics.

Findings/Conclusions: It is concluded that the greater the fly infestation, the movements that alter the welfare of the animals’ increase; however, more research is required to know the physiological welfare consequences that the infestation of this parasite impliesv

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