You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Effect of milkflow rate and presence of a floating nipple on abnormal sucking between dairy calves. (Special issue: Suckling) / About

Effect of milkflow rate and presence of a floating nipple on abnormal sucking between dairy calves. (Special issue: Suckling)

By J. Loberg, L. Lidfors

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate if access to an artificial teat, compared with an open bucket, would decrease abnormal sucking in calves held in pairs, and if the calves would perform less abnormal sucking if they spent more time drinking or sucking milk. Sixteen calves of Swedish Red and White cattle housed in pairs were used. The eight groups were given 2.5 litres of whole milk per calf twice a day in one of the following treatments: bucket with fast flow (control), bucket with slow flow, floating nipple with fast flow and floating nipple with slow flow. All groups were subjected to the four different treatments in a random balanced order. Two buckets were connected with a rubber pipe in order to control milk flow. In the fast treatments, milk poured from one bucket to the other in 40 seconds, and in the slow treatments, milk poured from one bucket to the other in 10 min. Each group underwent treatment for 6 days before behavioural observations were done on day 7. These were made by instantaneous recordings at 20 seconds intervals for 30 min, starting when the calves received their milk in the morning and afternoon. The number of recordings of abnormal sucking was lower than the control in all treatments (P<0.001). The lowest recording of abnormal sucking was found when the calves had both a floating nipple and a slow flow. Sucking on other objects in the pen had the highest number of recordings, when they had a nipple and a fast flow (P<0.01), but sucking on the empty nipple represented 95% of this category. The calves tended to lick and bite more on the bucket, the nipple and pen fittings in the two treatments with fast flow (P<0.1) than in the slow treatment with nipple. It is concluded that both the performance of sucking and the time taken to ingest milk are important in order to decrease abnormal sucking between calves.

Date 2001
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 72
Issue 3
Pages 189-199
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/S0168-1591(01)00109-5
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Environment and Health, Section of Ethology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara, Sweden.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Appetite
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Calves
  6. Cattle
  7. Dairy animals
  8. Eating disorders
  9. Feeders
  10. Feeding behavior
  11. Mammals
  12. Milk and dairy products
  13. nipple drinkers
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Ruminants
  16. suckling
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed