Kathryn Proudfoot

Kathryn Proudfoot
The Ohio State University | OSU · Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine

M.Sc., Ph.D.

About

47
Publications
7,879
Reads
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1,259
Citations
Citations since 2017
25 Research Items
953 Citations
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Introduction
My professional goal is to improve the lives of animals through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and service to my community. My research has sought to determine the relationship between animal behavior, management, and health. Specifically, my research focuses on the following three themes: 1) improving maternity pen design for dairy cattle, 2) developing novel measurements of stress in animals and understanding the impact of stressors on behavior, health and immunity, and 3) identifying and resolving health and welfare concerns in veal calves.
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
The Ohio State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • I split my time between teaching in the veterinary curriculum, conducting research on the behavior and welfare of dairy cattle, and extension/service efforts aimed at transferring scientific knowledge to stakeholders in my field.
January 2009 - September 2013
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • PhD
Description
  • My Ph.D. research aimed to develop a better understanding of the links between management, health and behavior in dairy cows before calving.
September 2005 - September 2008
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • Master's Student
Description
  • My M.Sc. research assessed the impact of stocking density at the feed bunk on the behavior of dairy cattle before calving.

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
The primary objective of this study was to compare male and female dairy calf management practices and evaluate risk factors associated with differences in care. Secondary objectives were to understand surplus calf transportation and marketing practices and investigate incentives to motivate calf care improvements. An online survey was distributed...
Article
Full-text available
Current systems for managing surplus dairy calves are wrought with ethical and animal welfare concerns. Resolving complex problems in the dairy industry requires engagement from dairy farmers and other stakeholders. The main objective of this case study was to pilot a novel methodology to deepen our understanding of how dairy producers envision the...
Article
Full-text available
Surplus neonatal dairy calves are routinely transported long distances from the dairy farm of birth to calf raisers. Most of the research assessing the effect of transportation on young calves has focused on physiology and health, without considering calf affective states. The aim of this study was to assess the affective response of young male dai...
Presentation
Full-text available
This study aimed to characterize and identify associations between dairy producer attitudes and the differences in early-life care of surplus male calves and female calves on dairy farms in 5 U.S. states. Dairy producers with more cost and benefit concerns used different early-life care practices for surplus male calves. This association may be use...
Article
Full-text available
Dairy cows that are restricted from lying down have a reduced ability to sleep. In other species, sleep loss is a key risk factor for disease, mediated by changes in metabolic and inflammatory responses. The cumulative effect of lying and sleep deprivation on cow health is unknown. The objective was to determine the effects of lying and sleep depri...
Article
In natural settings, dairy cows separate from the herd to give birth. When kept indoors, seeking isolation before calving may be restricted and may depend on space and resources provided in maternity housing. The effect of group maternity pens on behavior around calving and labor progress is unknown. Therefore, the objective of this study was to de...
Article
In a more natural setting, dairy cows separate from herdmates and seek a secluded area to give birth. However, on many dairy facilities, cows calve in barren group pens with limited space, which may limit their ability to perform these behaviors. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of stocking density and provision of a blind (a...
Article
Veterinarians are considered leaders in animal welfare, but veterinary curricula often lack training in welfare. Our aims were to describe veterinary student values, assess whether a frame reflection assignment can encourage student willingness to engage with others with differing values surrounding animal welfare, and determine if sex and career a...
Article
Many dairy cows succumb to disease after calving. Disease risk may be affected by the cows' social environment and ability to perform maternal behaviors. In nature, cattle isolate from others and find seclusion to give birth; these behaviors may be limited in indoor group pens and could potentially affect the cows' ability to cope. The aim was to d...
Article
The objectives of this study were to (1) describe the calving location of dairy cattle given access to a pasture and barn; (2) identify factors associated with calving location; and (3) compare the lying and exploratory behavior of cows in the 24 h before calving and a previous day. Seventy-two Holstein dairy heifers and cows (n = 36 nulliparous an...
Article
Veal calves are at a high risk of disease early in life, which can lead to poor growth. Research is needed to determine interventions that can reduce disease and promote the growth of veal calves. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of fatty acid supplementation and the provision of a dry teat on the incidence of bovine respiratory d...
Article
Labor is likely a painful and stressful experience for dairy cows. Understanding maternal behavior can help inform the design of maternity pens that best accommodate the cow. The maternity pen should provide the cow an opportunity to seclude from other cows and barn activity. It should also be well-bedded, dry, and cleaned regularly to create a com...
Article
Many veal calves arrive to growing facilities with diseases, including diarrhea and navel inflammation. Observing neonatal calf behavior, such as lying behavior, can be used to better detect and determine the implications of these diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of navel inflammation and diarrhea on lying behavior in neo...
Article
Social factors are important determinants of disease in humans and and laboratory animals, but less research has been done using farm animals. The objective of this study was to determine if an unpredictable and competitive social environment affects behavior and health during the transition period when dairy cows are at high risk of disease. Five...
Article
The inherent disease susceptibility of veal calves results in frequent antimicrobial use. Improvements in antimicrobial stewardship necessitate alternative therapies to improve calf health and growth, while reducing the need for antimicrobials important to human health. This study investigated the effect of 2 alternative therapies, lactoferrin (an...
Article
Drying cows off at the end of lactation is a routine management practice in dairy operations. Most dairies in the United States and many other countries dry cows off abruptly (e.g., stop milking cows on a set day), which has been shown to affect cow comfort. Gradually reducing milk production is another approach to dry cows off, routinely used in s...
Article
When considering methodologies for collecting behavioral data, continuous sampling provides the most complete and accurate data set whereas instantaneous sampling can provide similar results and also increase the efficiency of data collection. However, instantaneous time intervals require validation to ensure accurate estimation of the data. Theref...
Article
Full-text available
Veal calves are at high risk for disease and mortality in early life. Calves face a number of stressors before arriving at the grower, including long transport times, which may contribute to poor health. Our objectives were to 1) estimate the prevalence of poor health outcomes in veal calves on arrival at growers in Ohio; 2) determine risk factors...
Article
Lambs are commonly weaned around 60 d of age in the Eastern United States, but this age is also a time for lambs to apply long-term feeding strategies learned from adult animals. There is minimal evidence on how weaning strategies may affect long-term adaptation of feeding behavior. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of social and...
Article
Dairy cows in early lactation are often housed in a large group, where they may have to compete for access to feed and space. However, a cow's ability to compete may be impaired due to production disease, and housing in a small group with minimal competition may be beneficial for cow welfare. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of g...
Article
Veal calves are at high risk for disease and mortality in early life. Calves face a number of stressors before arriving at the grower, including long transport times, which may contribute to poor health. Our objectives were to 1) estimate the prevalence of poor health outcomes in veal calves on arrival at growers in Ohio; 2) determine risk factors...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to use automated activity, lying, and rumination monitors to characterize prepartum behavior and predict calving in dairy cattle. Data were collected from 20 primiparous and 33 multiparous Holstein dairy cattle from September 2011 to May 2013 at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Dairy. The HR Tag (SCR Engineers L...
Article
The study of farm animal behaviour is a critical tool for assessing animal welfare. Collecting behavioural data with continuous sampling or short scan sampling intervals (eg every 60th second) is considered ideal as this provides the most complete and accurate dataset; however, these methods are also time and labour intensive. Longer sampling inter...
Article
Housing preweaned dairy calves in individual outdoor hutches is common in North America. However, this type of housing lacks stimulation and minimizes calves' ability to express natural behavior. Providing a social companion has been shown to stimulate natural behavior and promote growth, but no research has assessed the effect of providing physica...
Article
The objective of this study was to assess the effect of milk cessation method (abrupt or gradual) at dry off on milk yield and somatic cell score (SCS) up to 120 d in milk during the subsequent lactation. Data from 428 cows from 8 dairy herds in Ohio were analyzed. Abrupt cessation cows kept the farm's regular milking schedule (2 or 3 times) throug...
Article
Lameness poses a welfare challenge for pigs as it is associated with pain. Monitoring changes in behavior is a useful tool for recognizing illnesses in animals, including lameness. Lame sows spend more time lying down compared to non-lame animals, but there is currently no practical way of recording these changes in behavior. The objectives of this...
Article
The objectives of the present study were to assess (1) the effectiveness of a calving training workshop and an application (app) for touchscreen devices to capture calving-related events, and (2) personnel compliance with calving protocols (time from birth to feeding of first colostrum and time that cows spent in labor). Calving personnel (n = 23)...
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of milking cessation method (abrupt or gradual) and daily milk yield before dry-off on milk leakage following dry-off and intramammary infections (IMI) at calving. Data from 1,086 quarters of 285 cows from 5 Ohio dairy herds were analyzed. All cows that were due to be dried off within a week we...
Article
Over the past 50 years, biomedical research has established a strong linkage between psychosocial stress and disease risk in humans, which has transformed the understanding of stress and the role it plays in human lives. This research has led to personalized medicine where a reduction in daily life stress is a main goal for many people with debilit...
Article
Full-text available
Dairy cows are typically gregarious, but isolate themselves in the hours before calving when kept on pasture. Self-isolation is also a common behavior of ill animals. The objectives of this study were to determine if dairy cows would (1) isolate to calve when housed indoors in an individual maternity pen and (2) continue to isolate when ill after c...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to determine if, and under what conditions, indoor-housed dairy cows would seek a shelter to calve. Seventy-two Holstein dairy cows were paired by expected calving date and moved into a maternity pen that contained an open area with no cover, and a sheltered area that was covered on all sides except for the ceiling and an...
Article
Full-text available
Cows are often moved from a group to an individual maternity pen just before calving. However, it is unclear whether moving cows during labor may alter their behavior or affect the progress of labor. The aim of this study was to determine if moving cows to a maternity pen at different stages of labor would influence calving behavior or the length o...
Article
Disease is one of the single largest issues facing food animal agriculture today. Risk factors for various diseases in cattle, swine and chickens include aspects of both the physical and social environment. In this paper we review literature linking the social environment to illness in farm animals, drawing from a conceptual framework developed pri...
Article
Three feeding enrichment treatments were tested in an outdoor yard used by six Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). In "Yard-toss," forage was thrown by hand over one third of the yard. In "Set-up," forage and browse were hand-scattered throughout the yard. "Set-up Enriched" was similar with the addition of either a hay- and forage-f...
Article
Full-text available
Metritis, a common transition disease in dairy cows, reduces milk production during the duration of the disease. To our knowledge, no work has investigated the short-term effects of metritis on feed intake and the long-term consequences on milk yield and risk of culling. The objectives were to determine the effect of metritis on 305-d lactation cur...
Article
Newborn dairy bull calves were fed 4 L of colostrum by esophageal feeder or offered untreated or formic acid-treated colostrum ad libitum for 24 h; effects on intake, serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels and behavior were measured. The untreated ad libitum group consumed more colostrum (6 vs. 4 L) but had comparable serum IgG levels to the control (...
Article
Full-text available
Claw horn lesions, including sole hemorrhages and sole ulcers, are a major cause of lameness in dairy cattle. These lesions often develop in the weeks around calving and become visible 8 to 12 wk later. The aim was to determine whether cows that are diagnosed with claw horn lesions several weeks after calving behave differently during the calving p...
Article
Full-text available
Dairy cows that have a difficult calf delivery (dystocia) are more likely to develop health complications after calving, reducing productivity and welfare. Understanding the behavioral cues of dystocia may facilitate prompt obstetric assistance and reduce the long-term effect of the challenging delivery. The aim of this study was to describe the ef...
Article
Full-text available
Transition dairy cows are vulnerable to the negative consequences of depressed feed intake around calving. Competition can decrease feeding activity in midlactation cows, but the effects of competition on the transition cow are not well understood. The objective was to test the effect of competition on the behavior and feed intake of transition cow...
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this research were to describe the feed sorting, feeding behavior, and feed intake of cows consuming a close-up ration and to determine if these behaviors are affected by competition for access to the feed bunk. Thirty-six dry Holstein cows, consuming a close-up total mixed ration diet, were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: 1) nonco...

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Project (1)
Project
To improve patient welfare, veterinarians must develop and maintain a good relationship with their clients. Communication skills like reflective listening and empathy can improve relationships, but are difficult to teach and are not always included in veterinary curricula. One approach may be to use ‘frame reflection’ to encourage students to understand another’s perspective on contentious animal welfare (AW) issues. This study explored the effects of a frame reflection assignment on veterinary students’ perspectives of AW and attitudes toward differing views. Second year veterinary students at Ohio State University (n=160) completed a series of exercises in which they: articulated their own AW values (Q1), interviewed someone with whom they held differing AW values, and reported their interviewee’s views as if they were their own. Students then shared their perceptions toward their interviewee and discussed applications of the exercise in their future careers (Q2). Content analysis was applied to student responses in two stages: 1) both authors independently hand-coded, then discussed identified themes until a mutually agreed upon scheme was reached, and 2) NVivo was used to identify deeper patterns in responses. The student population was 79% female and 21% male, with small animal (56%), large animal (11%), mixed animal (16%), equine (4%) or individualized (13%) career areas of emphasis. Approximately 50% of students selected affective state as their primary AW value in Q1, with 40% choosing biological functioning and 10% emphasizing natural living. Most students interviewed a classmate or friend, followed by family members, significant others and veterinary mentors or colleagues. Interviews most commonly focused on elective procedures in pets (24%), veganism/vegetarianism (17%), using animals in research (9%), and euthanasia decisions (8%). Preliminary analysis of Q2 responses showed that students had both productive and critical views of their interviewees, though productive views were more common and were clustered under the following themes: acknowledgement of shared values between the student and interviewee; description of actions taken during the interview (e.g. reflective listening, learning, frame reflection); and improved knowledge of, belief in the legitimacy of, and empathy toward disparate AW views. Critical responses included: a perceived lack of shared values; judgment of interviewee’s personality; and assumption of interviewee’s ignorance as reason for disagreement. A majority of students reported that the exercise would benefit their careers by improving their readiness to engage and communication strategies with clients, with a subset articulating that these skills would directly benefit patient welfare.