Early social experiences do not affect first lactation production traits, longevity or locomotion reaction to group change in female dairy cattle
|Kateg. publikace||Vědecké publikace impaktované|
Under natural conditions cows and their calves live together. In dairy practice, calves are separated from their mothers within hours after birth and then housed individually. This study investigated the effects of the presence of the dam during the colostrum feeding period and subsequent group housing during early ontogeny on reproduction, milk performance and locomotion at first lactation as well as on longevity in female dairy cattle. Forty female calves were allocated to 1 of 4 treatments according to a 2 × 2 factorial design. The treatments were with or without mother during the 4 days after birth and either single housing or housing in groups of 4 calves between 1 and 8 weeks of age. Thereafter all calves were managed according to routines of the farm until they became primiparous lactating cows. Data about locomotion, milk yield, milking duration and body weight were collected every milking. Information about calving, inseminations, pregnancy and departure of the animal from the herd/group were added to records. We predicted that females raised with early mother contact and group housing will have higher performance as dairy cows. None of the seven performance variables was affected by either the age of separation from the dam or by the type of housing 8 weeks of life. The results indicate that neither provision of maternal care for a few days nor group housing for the duration of milk feeding bring any advantage or disadvantage for later performance in female dairy cattle.
|Projekt||Dlouhodobý koncepční rozvoj výzkumné organizace|
VÚŽV v.v.i. > Publikace > Detail publikace