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Inventering av uppfödningssystem som tillåter ko-kalvkontakt i svenska mjölkbesättningar Inventory of young stock rearing systems allowing cow-calf contact in Swedish dairy farms

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Jonsson, Karin (2019) Inventering av uppfödningssystem som tillåter ko-kalvkontakt i svenska mjölkbesättningar Inventory of young stock rearing systems allowing cow-calf contact in Swedish dairy farms. Masters thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences , Clinical Sciences. Master thesis in Veterinary Medicine, no. EX0869 2019. SLU, Uppsala.

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Online at: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-10676

Summary

Historically, the calf has been of little economic importance in milk production in Sweden and
has been allowed to suckle only a shorter period after birth, after which the calf is separated
from the cow. Probably because calves that have had a couple of days together with the cow
show more stress-related behaviors at the time of separation than calves separated from the cow
immediately after birth. A statement that is raised more often in society is that the immediate
separation of cow and calf directly after birth is problematic and unethical. A number of studies
published also show that there are many advantages of keeping cows and calves together for a
longer period of time. It is therefore of interest to find innovative systems for keeping cows and
calves together in Swedish milk production. Their advantages, their potential difficulties, and
to test if the systems can be installed on farms that did not use them previously.
The purpose of the study was to find and describe various innovative breeding systems that
allow cow-calf contact in Swedish milk production. The survey was conducted through
telephone interviews with farmers applying different innovative rearing systems. In total, 20
farms participated in the survey. The farms were generally small, with about 5 to 6 adult cows
in the herd, and mainly consisted of Swedish polled cows which produced milk for the farmers
own household use. Nine of them applied different systems where the calf suckled from their
own mother, 7 farms had foster cow systems and 4 of the farms allowed the calves to be together
with the adult animals, but without the calves suckling from cows.
Overall, all farmers were very pleased with the system they had and did not want to change
anything. The majority of farmersstated that daily tasks took the same amount of time as rearing
calves the conventional way. Most of the farmers also considered that calves that had been
together with and suckled from cows grew significantly better and were generally healthier than
calves that had not been alowed to suckle. When concering the cows and their udder health,
most farms felt that there was no big difference if the cow was suckled by calves or if she was
milked only. Many farmers also believed that a more ethical and natural way of rearing calves
could be the best way to meet the new demands for increased animal welfare that society has
begun to set. The disadvantages mentioned with the systems were the need for other buildings
and larger areas to allow the cow-calf systems to work smoothly. The cows and calves showed
some stress and vocalized some days after separation from each other and the calves also drank
more milk resulting in lower milk yields. More socialization training of the calves were required
because they were not naturally imprinted on humans.
The study suggests that it is possible to keep cows and calves together for a longer period of
time and still maintain a relatively high milk production, and that there may be health benefits
and clear benefits for animal welfare to keep cows and calves together for a longer period of
time. More research is needed in this area to more objectively assess how the systems affect
animal health and welfare, and to see if it is possible to apply innovative breeding systems to
dairy farms that do not use them previously


EPrint Type:Thesis
Keywords:milkproduction, calf, cow, cow-calf,
Agrovoc keywords:
LanguageValueURI
Englishmilk productionhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_4829
Englishcow milkhttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_16080
Englishcalf housinghttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_d27a296f
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > ProYoungStock
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) > Clinical Sciences
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:727495
Deposited By: Alvåsen, Dr Karin
ID Code:36796
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 09:28
Last Modified:26 Nov 2019 09:22
Document Language:Swedish/Svenska
Status:Published

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