Why to prefer housing in calf hutches?

MALÁ, Gabriela, NOVÁK, Pavel, ŠTÍPKOVÁ, Miloslava, JIROUTOVÁ, Pavlína, KNÍŽEK, Josef, PROCHÁZKA, David, KREJČOVÁ, Michaela and SLAVÍKOVÁ, Martina. Why to prefer housing in calf hutches?. Náš chov, 2018, vol. 78(9), p. 80-82. ISSN 0027-8068.
CathegoryPublication in specialized journals
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The aim of our study was assessment of the impact of different types of calf housing on the future performance of dairy cow. Experiment was carried out on heifers of the Holstein breed in one farm during 5 years period. The calf-heifers were housed both in hutches on the open space (94 calf-heifers) and in individual pens under the shelter (IKP, 158 calf-heifers). We determined live weight of calves at birth, weaning, 6, 12, and 18 months of age during the experiment. There was also evaluated for health of calves. In heifers, age at the first insemination and the number of inseminations on pregnancy rate were monitored. In the first-calf heifers, age at the first calving milk yield, fat and protein yield were evaluated for standard lactation, including fat and protein content in milk. The obtained values were analysed by SAS and Statistica software packages (StatSoft). Calves housed in the individual pens under the shelter reached insignificantly lower live weight at the weaning in compared with the calves housed in calf the hutches. The higher prevalence of diarrheal disease and respiratory tract was detected at the calves housed in the shelter, as well as a higher mortality of calves in comparison with outdoor hutches. Heifers which were housed as calves in the hutches have had also higher life weight during the next rearing and were previously inseminated. The first-calf heifers housed in the hutches had significantly higher milk yield (P < 0.05) and milk protein yield (P < 0.01) compared with the cows housed in individual pens under the shelter.