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The effect on social organization and milk production of minor group alteratlons in dairy cattle

By K. A. Collis, S. J. Kay, A. J. Grant, A. J. Quick

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Abstract

2 groups of 15 and 12 cows resp. were maintained under identical conditions of management. The 2 most dominant cows from the 1st group were transferred to the 2nd group then returned 2 wk later. After a further 4 wk, the 2 most subordinate cows from the 1st group were transferred to the 2nd group and returned 2 wk later. On both occasions the transferred animals were lactating. Establishment of new cows within the hierarchy was completed within 24 h, and involved a doubling of aggressive activity, which was more prolonged on the latter occasion, but the increase in aggression had no effect on milk yield. Results suggest that any decrease in milk yield following the movement of cows between groups is likely to be due to associated changes in factors such as diet or housing.

Date 1979
Publication Title Applied Animal Ethology
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 103-111
Language English
Author Address Inst. for Res. on Anim. Diseases, Compton, Newbury, Berks. RG16 0NN, UK.
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Breeding
  4. Cattle
  5. Dairy animals
  6. Females
  7. Mammals
  8. Management
  9. Milk and dairy products
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. ranking
  12. Social behavior
  13. transfer
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed