The present investigation was carried out with a view to evaluate the frequency of Flehmen behaviour in bull in response to body fluids of cows in various stages of the estrous cycle, in the context of estrus detection. The study was performed on free moving bulls under natural conditions. Samples of vaginal mucus, saliva, faeces and milk of pro-estrus, estrus and di-estrus stages collected from donor cows were rubbed individually onto the genital regions of non-estrus animals (dummy cows) and the bulls were observed for 30 min for assessment of Flehmen behaviour. The duration of Flehmen behaviour shown by bulls was maximum towards the dummy cows receiving estrus sample. Such Flehmen behaviour, however, did not occur in bulls in response to the cows receiving samples of other stages. The statistical significance was higher ( P <0.001) in exhibiting repeated Flehmen behaviour towards estrus as compared to those of pro-estrus and di-estrus. Among the various body fluids tested, the exhibition of Flehmen behaviour was significantly higher ( P <0.01) in response to estrus vaginal fluid. No response was observed on dummy cows (control) to which only water was applied on the genital region. The results suggest that vaginal mucus may act as an additional/secondary source along with urine in eliciting copulatary behaviour and executing coitus in bulls during estrus. The results further suggest that in addition to vaginal mucus, other body fluids like saliva, faeces and milk have estrus-related odours and are probably involved in bovine bio-communication.
Behavioural Processes – Elsevier
Published: Jul 30, 2004
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