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Effect of age on the behavior of young calves allocated individually or in groups

Effect of age on the behavior of young calves allocated individually or in groups

Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science 41(4): 299-303

Two trials were undertaken, one with calves in barns in individual pens, and another in groups, to assess the behavior of these animals at different ages. Thirty Holstein x. Zebu calves of uniform size and physical condition were used. They were fed the milk substitute from Maxicare Land O'Lakes, Inc., and complete diet with 15% of CP ad libitum. Only the calves allocated in pens increased (P < 0.05) die time devoted to carry out other activities as growing older. The rumination had similar performance. with values of 5.7, 9.7, and 11% of the time for 30, 70, and 120 d of age, respectively, In both trials, most of the time was devoted to resting, being reduced at the expense of the intake.. which rose (11 < 0.05) with age. showing values of 5.3, 17.0, 25.5, and 6.0, 15.0, 23.0% of the total time for each of the ages under study, respectively. It is concluded that the housing system brings about changes in the behavior of the calves at different ages.. affecting the practical outcome of the rearing. It is recommended to allocate the calves in individual pens, at least, during the first month of age to guarantee their individualized attention and their feed intake learning process. Afterwards, they could be allocated in uniform groups in sufficient vital spaces.

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