Project without external funding

Possible long-term-effects of dam rearing: behaviour of heifers during the integration into the milking herd

Project Details
Project duration: 20142015


Integration of heifers into the milking herd after calving is stressful as the heifer has to face a new environment, new herdmates and is milked for the first time in her life. We hypothesise that permanent or half-day-contact to the mother during the first nine weeks of the heifer's life may reduce stress during integration because animals might be better trained how to interact in a herd. Thus, they may have better access to resources, may show less disturbed lying behaviour and be involved in less agonistic interactions. Therefore the grown-up offspring of a past study on dam rearing of calves on the research farm of the University of Kassel was observed during the first 48 h after integration into the milking herd after calving with regard to lying behaviour, access to the feeding rack and agonistic interactions in the feeding area. Furthermore, body weight, height at withers, trunk girth, age at first calving and milk yield at the first milk recording are measured.

Last updated on 2018-22-08 at 12:51