Suckling systems in calf rearing in organic dairy farming in the Netherlands

J.P. Wagenaar, D.J. Langhout

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic

Abstract

In an on-farm experiment three calf rearing methods were compared: bucket feeding of milk replacer, bucket feeding of tank milk and suckling of mother or nurse cow up to three months of age. Aim was to determine whether the technical results of suckling systems in calf rearing were satisfactory. Calves reared in a suckling system reached significantly higher liveweights at weaning (90 days). Although the average growth rate between weaning and the age of 1 year did not differ significantly, liveweight at 1 year did still differ significantly. Compared to both bucket fed rearing groups, suckling did not have a significant effect on Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of mothers. Suckling systems in calf rearing in organic dairy production show satisfactory technical results. Calves have the potential to grow fast and no negative effect of suckling on SCC or general animal health were observed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd QLIF Congress: Improving Sustainability in Organic and Low Input Food Production Systems -
Duration: 20 Mar 200723 Mar 2007

Conference

Conference3rd QLIF Congress: Improving Sustainability in Organic and Low Input Food Production Systems
Period20/03/0723/03/07

Keywords

  • dairy farming
  • suckling
  • weaning
  • weaning weight
  • milk quality
  • organic farming
  • somatic cell count

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