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      Effect of age of calf on suckling behaviour and other behavioural activities of Zebu and crossbred calves during restricted suckling periods

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      Applied Animal Behaviour Science

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of age of calf on the behaviour of Zebu and crossbred calves during restricted suckling (RS) periods. The behaviours of 20 Zebu and 16 crossbred calves were recorded during two 30-min sessions each day after milking when the calves and their dams were brought together in a group for suckling. This was made for a time period of 2 weeks/month for 6 months postpartum.The total suckling duration was significantly longer in Zebu calves (11.8+/-0.19 min) compared to the crossbred calves (9.4+/-0.19 min), but decreased significantly in both breeds with increasing age from 1 to 6 months. The number of suckling bouts decreased from a mean of 3.8 at 1 month of age to 1.1 at 6 month (P<0.05). The duration of each suckling bout decreased significantly from a mean of 3.5+/-0.15 min at 1 month of age to 1.6+/-0.01 min at 6 months (<0.05). The frequency of crossbred calves cross-suckling (3.7%) was significantly higher than that of the Zebu calves (1.9%; P<0.05). The frequency of calves cross-suckling decreased significantly from 4.2% at 1 month of age to 2.3% at 6 months. The duration and number of bouts of cross-suckling was significantly higher in the crossbred calves (duration 0.9+/-0.06 min; bouts 3, 7) than in the Zebu calves (duration 0.5+/-0.06 min; bouts 2, 7) and decreased with increasing age of calf. The duration and number of bouts of inter-sucking was significantly higher in the crossbred calves (duration 0.6+/-0.07 min; bouts 1, 6) than in the Zebu calves (duration 0.1+/-0.04 min; bouts 0, 5) and decreased with increasing age of calf. Exploration increased in duration as the calves increased in age from 1 to 6 months (P<0.05). The duration of play increased significantly with the increase in age of calf from 1 to 6 months, and occurred mainly after nursing.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Applied Animal Behaviour Science
          Applied Animal Behaviour Science
          Elsevier BV
          01681591
          March 2000
          March 2000
          : 67
          : 1-2
          : 47-57
          Article
          10.1016/S0168-1591(99)00115-X
          10719188
          © 2000

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