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Short report Norway - Kalvelykke & GrazyDaiSy

Sørheim, Kristin; Johanssen, Juni Rosann E. and Adler, Steffen A. (2021) Short report Norway - Kalvelykke & GrazyDaiSy. Working paper, Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture .

[thumbnail of GD_ Short report_Norway.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English

Document available online at: https://www.norsok.no


In this pilot study we investigated weight gain, health and behaviour of five calf pairs (own calf plus foster calf) that spent about nine weeks on pasture together with their respective (foster) mothers. Neither the cows nor the calves were given concentrates in the period. The pasture was of generally poor quality, and the results could have been even more in favour of weight gain in calves and with less weight loss of cows on a high-quality pasture.
The cows were Limousin crosses. They were not milked, only suckled by their calves. Three foster calves were removed from their foster mothers because they obviously did not get enough milk. The behaviour observations showed that these calves did not manage to suckle neither their foster mother nor the other cows to some particular degree. The other calves showed good weight gain and health, and the cows’ body condition remained fairly stable even though the pasture quality was poor. Weaning was abrupt, but cows and calves stopped bawling after 3-4 days.
The control-group calves kept indoors had a higher weight gain, but these were also fed more intensively.
We tested a collar with an accelerometer to see if it is possible to use the data to distinguish between different types of behaviour. Preliminary results show that it is easy to tell the difference between being “active” and “passive”, and there are indications that it is possible to distinguish suckling from other activities. These results can contribute to developing systems for monitoring grazing livestock.

EPrint Type:Working paper
Keywords:Cow - calf grazing strategies; nurse cows
Agrovoc keywords:
calf feeding
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > GrazyDaiSy
European Union > CORE Organic Cofund
Norway > NORSØK - Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture
Deposited By: Sørheim, Kristin Marie
ID Code:42788
Deposited On:15 Nov 2021 08:03
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 08:03
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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