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Effects of restricted and free suckling

in cattle used in milk production systems

Fröberg, Sofie (2008). Effects of restricted and free suckling. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2008:99
ISBN 978-91-86195-32-8
[Doctoral thesis]

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The aim of this thesis was to study the effects of restricted and free suckling in comparison with non-suckling on production and behaviour of cow and calf in dairy production systems. In the first and second study cows of Zebu × Holstein (n=24) and Holstein breed (n=27) and their calves were allocated to two treatments, restricted suckling (RS) and artificial rearing (AR) and studied during eight weeks. In the first study calves were present during milking and RS calves suckled after milking and in the afternoon. Behaviour and weight gain of calves and milk yield, milk composition and udder health (California Mastitis Test, CMT) of cows were measured. In the second study calves suckled two h after milking. Behaviour, feed intake and weight gain of calves and CMT and milk let-down of cows were registered. In the third study 65 calves of Swedish Red breed were allocated to three treatments: Free suckling (FS), low milk (LM) or high milk (HM) substitute allowance from an automatic feeder. Behaviours of FS and HM during the milk feeding period and of FS, LM and HM during weaning were observed. Weight gain and feed intake of calves were recorded until week 10. Milk yield and composition of FS dams and 15 contemporary herd-mates were measured until week 12. The result indicated an attachment between RS and FS cow-calf pairs. RS calves displayed less cross-sucking compared to AR, whereas it did not occur at all in FS during the suckling period. During the first 24 h after weaning FS showed more behavioural signs of stress than LM and HM calves. Suckling calves in all studies ate less solid feed than non-suckling calves. Weight gain was similar in RS and AR calves. Weight gain of FS calves was higher before weaning, but not after weaning compared to LM and HM. Saleable and total milk yield was higher of suckled cows in RS but not in FS compared to non-suckled cows. There were indications of improved udder health of RS compared to AR cows in extensive system. In FS system there was no effect on milk somatic cell count. In conclusion, RS resulted in beneficial effects on both production and behaviour in an extensive system. In intensive systems, RS and FS indicated benefits for calf behaviour and weight gain of FS calves; however, weight gain of FS was reduced after weaning.

Authors/Creators:Fröberg, Sofie
Title:Effects of restricted and free suckling
Subtitle:in cattle used in milk production systems
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2008
Number of Pages:54
ALLI. Fröberg, S., Aspegren-Güldorff, A., Olsson, I., Marin, B., Berg, C., Hernández, C., Galina, C. S., Lidfors, L. and Svennersten-Sjaunja, K. (2007). Effect of restricted suckling on milk yield, milk composition and udder health in cows and behaviour and weight gain in calves, in dualpurpose cattle in the tropics. Tropical Animal Health and Production 39(1), 71-81. II. Fröberg, S., Gratte, E., Svennersten-Sjaunja, K., Olsson, I., Berg, C., Orihuela, A., Galina, C.S., García, B. and Lidfors, L. (2008). Effect of suckling (‘restricted suckling’) on dairy cows’ udder health and milk letdown and their calves’ weight gain, feed intake and behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 113, 1-14. III. Fröberg, S. and Lidfors, L. (2008). Behaviour of dairy calves suckling the dam in a barn with automatic milking or being fed milk substitute from an automatic feeder in a group pen. Resubmitted to Applied Animal Behaviour Science. IV. Fröberg, S., Lidfors, L., Svennersten-Sjaunja, K. and Olsson, I. (2008). Weight gain and weaning behaviour of dairy calves suckling the dam in an automatic milking system. Submitted to Journal of Dairy Science. V. Fröberg, S., Olsson, I., Pettersson, G., and Svennersten-Sjaunja, K.(2008). Dairy cows suckled by their calves in an automatic milking system. (Manuscript of short communication).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Dept of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Research Areas for the Future > Future Animal Health and Welfare (until Jan 2017)
ISBN for printed version:978-91-86195-32-8
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agrovoc terms:calves, dairy cows, suckling, behaviour, weight gain, animal performance, animal health, mammary glands, milk production
Keywords:Artificial rearing, Behaviour, Calf weight gain, Holstein cattle, Milk production, Suckling calves, Zebu crossbred cattle, Udder health
Permanent URL:
ID Code:1901
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management
Deposited By: Sofie Fröberg
Deposited On:08 Dec 2008 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:15

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