Sustainable Beef Systems Research Group

Dr. Joseph M. Stookey

Professor of Applied Ethology

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Western College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, Canada S7N 5A8

Saskatoon, Canada S7N 5A8

phone: (306)966-7154 fax: (306)966-7159



Dr. Stookey grew up in Southern Illinois on a grain and livestock farm. He has a wide variety of livestock experiences working with sheep, swine and beef cattle. He received his B.Sc in 1976 and an M.Sc. degree from University of Illinois in 1979 from the Animal Science department specializing in ruminant nutrition. From 1979-1984 he managed the University of Illinois Sheep Research Station at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center which included 1,000 ewes and their progeny. From 1985-1987 he managed the University of Illinois Swine Research Center at Champaign-Urbana, IL. He and his family spent a year in Kenya at Edgerton University in Njoro as a faculty member in the Department of Animal Science where he taught basic animal science courses. He returned to the University of Illinois and completed his Ph.D in 1991 focusing on applied animal behaviour. He joined the faculty in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.

Research Interest

As an applied animal behaviourist Dr. Stookey has aimed his research at improving the productivity and welfare in domestic food animals through the application and investigation of the behavioral processes. Specific areas of interest include the investigation of maternal, social and handling behaviour of farm animal species and the impact and comparison of routine management practices on livestock.

Current Research Projects

Ongoing projects, with research associate Dr. Jon Watts, include the investigation of memory and cognition in cattle in relation to painful procedures funded through NSERC (see a video of the project featured on Discovery Canada entitled "Painful Memories").

Another project includes a collaborative effort with Dr. Fiona Buchanan from the Dept. of Animal and Poultry Science on genetics and temperament in beef cattle.

Recently, PhD candidate Derek Haley has finished his studies on two-stage weaning in cattle. (Haley, D. B., D. W. Bailey and J. M. Stookey. 2005. The effects of weaning beef calves in two stages on their behaviour and growth rate. Journal of Animal Science 83: 2205-2214). One aspect of his research has been the development and testing of a two stage weaning system for cattle using a plastic anti-sucking device that the calf wears while kept in the presence of the cow. Within 4 days the pair can be separated and the typical signs of weaning stress are essentially eliminated.

This work has generated considerable interest within the beef industry and we know from manufacturing sales of the two-stage weaning device that over 100,000 beef calves in North America have been weaned in 2005 using Mr. HaleyÕs two stage weaning procedure.

Recent Research Publications

  • LA González, KS Schwartzkopf-Genswein, NA Caulkett, E Janzen, et al. 2010 Pain mitigation after band castration of beef calves and its effects on performance, behavior, Escherichia coli, and salivary cortisol. Journal of Animal Science 88 (2), 802-810
  • JM Currah, SH Hendrick, JM Stookey. 2009. The behavioral assessment and alleviation of pain associated with castration in beef calves treated with flunixin meglumine and caudal lidocaine epidural anesthesia with epinephrine. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 50 (4), 375
  • M Stewart, JM Stookey, KJ Stafford, CB Tucker, AR Rogers, SK Dowling, et al. 2009. Effects of local anesthetic and a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug on pain responses of dairy calves to hot-iron dehorning. Journal of Dairy Science 92 (4), 1512-1519.

    Joe Stookey's Department Webpage

    Applied Ethology Webpage

    This webpage was last updated on April 12, 2014. The linked pages in this series may have been updated more recently however.

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