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Data from: Validation of 1-0 and instantaneous sampling for quantifying oral behaviors in milk-fed dairy calves

Cite this dataset

Downey, Blair Caitlin; Gfeller, Julie S.; Tucker, Cassandra Blaine (2021). Data from: Validation of 1-0 and instantaneous sampling for quantifying oral behaviors in milk-fed dairy calves [Dataset]. Dryad.


Oral behaviors, including feeding, drinking, grooming, and non-nutritive behaviors, are used as indicators of health and welfare in dairy calves, but continuous measurement of these behaviors can be labor intensive. Instantaneous sampling is often used to save labor but has only been validated for feeding behavior in calves. One-zero sampling may be an appropriate strategy well suited to capturing the rapid performance of non-nutritive behaviors. Our objective was to validate 1-0 and instantaneous sampling for measurement of oral behaviors around the time of bottle delivery against true values. Eleven Holstein heifer calves were housed individually, provided water and fed a diet of starter grain and milk replacer (4.8 – 5.6 L/d step-up) via a bottle. When calves were 23 ± 7 d old, they were video recorded for 30 min before and after the morning 2.5 ± 0.2 L milk meal from approximately 0900 – 1000 h. We measured ruminating, eating, drinking water, sucking milk, grooming, non-nutritive oral manipulation, and tongue flicks continuously and with instantaneous and 1-0 sampling at 5-, 10-, 30-, and 60-s intervals. We also examined the effect of instantaneous timing within these intervals. Estimates obtained through subsampling were compared to true values with regression analysis. The subsampling interval was determined to represent true values if the coefficient of determination ≥ 0.9, slope = 1, intercept = 0, and relative error < 10%. Ruminating, drinking water, and eating were not performed by all 11 calves and were not included in the analysis. The proportion of time performing non-nutritive oral manipulation, grooming, and tongue flicks generated by continuous and 1-0 sampling were highly correlated but were consistently overestimated by 1-0 sampling, especially as calves spent more time engaged in these behaviors. Sucking milk was accurately represented at intervals of less than 30 s, likely due to most sucking bouts continuing for at least 150 s at a time, and low between-calf variability compared to the other behaviors. Different start times within a given instantaneous interval resulted in wide variance in discrepancies between subsampling and continuous recording for all behaviors. We conclude that around milk feeding, 1-0 sampling is an appropriate choice to represent stimulus-elicited behavior, such as sucking milk in a milk-restricted system. However, time engaged in short, highly variable, or intermittent behaviors is not reliably captured via instantaneous or 1-0 sampling in the hour around bottle delivery.


Methodological details are described in the associated journal article as well as RMarkdown.

Usage notes

Each RMarkdown file contains a description of how to use these datasets.

This Dryad entry also includes Supplemental Figures S1-S4.