Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article

Effect of raising method of calves during liquid milk nutrition on their open-field and maze behaviour after weaning

Jan Broucek, Michal Uhrincat, Peter Kisac, Anton Hanus

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The objective was to find whether calf behaviour is affected by it rearing to weaning in 84 days, gender, and the sire lineage. 99 Holstein calves were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: artificially reared in hutches (A), suckling of a foster cow (F), or suckling of the mother (M). After weaning (84 days), all calves were kept separately by sex in age-balanced groups. The speed of traversing the maze was recorded at 6 months of age. The open-field observation was performed at 10 months. The average time of traversing the maze facility was no significantly different among treatment groups. The average time of traversing the maze for 6 tasks was the highest in A and the lowest in the F group (P > 0.05). At the open-field test, the difference compared to the grid (square) crossings was significant at the 1st minute of the 1st test (P < 0.05). The average of the grid crossings in all tests was highest in M (139.5) and the lowest in A (123.1) (P > 0.05). There were no significant differences between sex in behaviour in the maze or the open field tests. Sire lineage significant effect was found in vocalisation and defecation behaviour. The results show that the method used to rear calves and sire lineage may have an impact on their later behaviour.


dairy cattle, behaviour, maze, open-field test, weaning


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