Feeding behavior of calves fed small or large amounts of milk

Little is known about feeding behavior in grouphoused calves fed with an automated feeding system. To examine the influence of milk feeding level on feeding behavior in such a system, we fed calves either 4 L of milk replacer per d (LIM) or allowed ad libitum (AL) intake (n = 25 per treatment). In a […]

Effects of local anesthetic and a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug on pain responses of dairy calves to hot-iron dehorning

This study examined the effects of a nonsteroidal antiinfiammatory agent (NSAID) on physiologieal responses of calves immediately after hot-iron dehorning (DH) and during the time that local anesthetic (LA) wears off (2 to 3 h) after this procedure. Forty-six calves (33 ± 0.3 d of age) were randomly assigned to G treatments: hot-iron DH versus […]

Cross-sucking by dairy calves may become a habit or reflect characteristics of individual calves more than milk allowance or weaning

To examine the effects of milk allowance and weaning age on cross-sucking, 45 dairy calves were housed in groups of nine and fed milk and grain-based starter feed from automated feeders and allocated to three treatment groups: (A) Low-Milk Early-Weaned (fed 6 L/d of milk until weaned at 47 d of age), (B) High-Milk Early-Weaned (fed […]

Play behavior as an indicator of animal welfare: Disbudding in dairy calves

Play behavior may be reduced during negative experiences (e.g. pain) and serve as an indicator of animal welfare. To test this, the effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and a local anesthetic (LA) on dairy calf play behavior and wound sensitivity of calves after hot-iron disbudding (DB) were examined. Forty-six calves were assigned to […]

Dairy calves’ adaptation to group housing with automated feeders

Group housing of dairy calves with automated milk feeders has likely welfare and labour saving advantages but delays in the calves adapting to the feeding system may reduce these advantages. We examined factors that influence calves’ adaptation to the feeders. In Exp. 1, 77 Holstein calves were reared in individual “baby” pens with free access […]

Associations between milk intake and activity in the first days of a calf’s life and later growth and health

We examined whether calves’ milk intake and activity in the days after birth predict later growth and the risk of illness. Female Holstein calves (n = 130) were housed in individual pens where they were allowed ad libitum milk from birth to 5 days of age. Daily milk intakes were recorded and accelerometers attached to […]

The effect of feeding enrichment in the milk-feeding stage on the cognition of dairy calves in a T-maze

In many species, environmental complexity is known to affect cognitive development, yet it is common to house dairy calves individually in restrictive environments. The hypothesis of this study was that providing calves with simple nutritional enrichments would improve their success in a cognitive task and reduce reactivity to novel stimuli. Individually-housed Holstein heifer calves were […]