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Dam-reared calves: Lessons from pioneer farmers for Danish dairy producers

Lehmann, Jesper Overgaard; Vaarst, Mette and Mogensen, Lisbeth (2020) Dam-reared calves: Lessons from pioneer farmers for Danish dairy producers. In: Book of Abstracts of the 71st Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science, Wageningen Academic Publishers, 26.

[thumbnail of EAAP 2020_ Abstract 34578 - presentation-session 27.pdf] PDF - English
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Document available online at: https://www.wageningenacademic.com/doi/book/10.3920/978-90-8686-900-8


Summary

In Denmark, separation of dairy calves from their dam commonly occur within the first 24 to 48 hours whereas weaning from milk occur around either 8 weeks (conventional) or 12 weeks (organic). Consumers increasingly question the practice of early separation, and there is a growing interest among Danish dairy farmers for developing new housing and management systems that incorporate a type of dam-rearing. Danish dairy farms are mostly relatively large with high-yielding cows in capital intensive and high cost systems that sets a tight margin for the milk price, which may challenge the implementation of dam-rearing. Several farmers in northern Europe practice different forms of dam-rearing, and their choices and experience may serve as inspiration for Danish dairy farmers. So far, we have visited 9 farms in Scotland, The Netherlands and Germany that represent a variety of breeds and a herd size ranging from 30 to 130 cows as well as an average of around 5,000 kg milk delivered plus 1,300 kg drunk per calf. The 5 highest yielding herds milk cows twice per day during the dam-rearing period. Six herds combine an initial period of full-time contact with a period of part-time dam-rearing. Separation occur between 4 and 22 weeks after calving, and 6 herds separate cow and calf abruptly whereas 4 herds wean calves abruptly. One case from The Netherlands and 1 from Scotland represent particularly promising systems for Danish dairy farmers. On the Dutch farm, calves are kept in separate deep litter area for the first 120 days, and a milking robot is used to gradually reduce the amount of time that the dams gain access to this area. Weaning occurs 2 weeks after separation with both separation and weaning done gradually. This farm delivers 9,500 kg of milk to the dairy per cow per year. On the Scottish farm, calves and dams are kept full-time in the same area the first 3 months and part-time the following 3 months. Weaning occurs gradually with nose flaps one week before a gradual separation. Based on these case studies, different implementation strategies will be developed and assessed for various impacts including production economics.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Speech
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
parturition
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_5604
English
weaning
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15291
English
maternal behaviour
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_12428
English
rearing techniques
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_26813
English
UNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIED
English
UNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIED
English
UNSPECIFIED
UNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > GrazyDaiSy
Denmark > Organic RDD 4 > KALVvedKO
ISBN:978-90-8686-349-5
DOI:10.3920/978-90-8686-900-8
Deposited By: Vaarst, Dr. Mette
ID Code:39937
Deposited On:19 May 2021 09:23
Last Modified:19 May 2021 09:23
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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