Navigating barriers in domestic cattle

Senast ändrad: 26 oktober 2023

Can cows solve spatial detour tasks by social learning? As social grazers, cows may possess the cognitive ability to solve spatial detour tasks by observing other cattle. However, studies of other social and gregarious ungulates have shown that it is highly variable which species have the ability and which does not. This study investigates domestic cattle’s ability to solve a spatial detour task by the use of social learning mechanisms, which is currently unknown. If cattle is able to perform this task it would indicate that cattle possess higher mental abilities which e.g. horses does not possess.


Qualifications: Master/kandidat student with a background in animal science, veterinary science or similar fields. Knowledge of ethology or behavioural ecology is a prerequisite.

Practical information: Studies will be conducted indoor on a private farm. Long experimental days with overnight stays either near or on the farm might be necessary. Previous experience with large animals is an advantage but not a prerequisite. A driver’s license is necessary. Scheduled for autumn 2021 approx. sep-dec 2021, in the area around Skara, Västra Götalands län.