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Intersucking in dairy cattle - review and questionnaire. (Special Issue: Behaviour and welfare of cattle)

By L. Lidfors, L. Isberg

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Intersucking is an abnormal behaviour in dairy heifers and cows, and it is defined by one animal sucking the teat of another animal with the intention of sucking milk. The aim of this paper is to review earlier studies on intersucking in dairy cattle and to present results from a questionnaire about intersucking in Swedish cattle. In previous studies 1-49% of the dairy farmers have reported intersucking in cows, and 0.5-40% of the cows have been observed intersucking. Many factors have been found to be related to the development of intersucking, for example, the milk feeding method and housing of calves, the feeding methods of heifers, and the feeding and housing of cows. There also seems to be a relation between cross-sucking in calves and intersucking in heifers and cows. It has been claimed that intersucking between heifers leads to mastitis in primiparous cows, and especially the Corynebacterium pyogenes mastitis. A large number of preventive measures have been tested to stop intersucking in cows, but with varying success. A questionnaire was answered by telephone interviews to 230 dairy farms in Sweden with a reply frequency of 66

Date 2003
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 80
Issue 3
Pages 207-231
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(02)00215-0
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal diseases
  4. Animal nutrition
  5. Animal roles
  6. Bacteria
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Cattle
  9. Dairy animals
  10. Developed countries
  11. Deviant behavior
  12. Europe
  13. Farm animals
  14. Feeders
  15. Feeding behavior
  16. Feed rations
  17. Food animals
  18. Mammals
  19. Mastitis
  20. OECD countries
  21. prokaryotes
  22. Reviews
  23. risk factors
  24. Ruminants
  25. Scandinavia
  26. suckling
  27. Sweden