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Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 1573 - 1578

Behavioural Responses of Dairy Calves to Cafeteria Feeding vs. Single Feeding

Mustafa Boga, Ahmet Sahin, Unal Kilic and Murat Gorgulu    

Abstract: This study was carried out to investigate whether cafeteria feeding affects behaviour of newborn milk fed dairy calves. Twenty Holstein Friesian calves were divided into two treatment groups single (TMR) and cafeteria feeding. Each calf was observed once a week for a period of 1 h at 5 min intervals at different times of a day after the initiation of daily feeding to monitor eating, ruminating, drinking, licking objects, playing, resting, body care and idle standing activities. The proportional count of eating, ruminating, drinking, licking objects, playing, resting, body care and idle standing were determined as 5.33, 6.52; 5.56, 8.89; 1.36, 1.09; 5.61, 5.14; 2.19, 1.60; 64.00, 62.58; 2.89, 3.59, 12.82 and 10.14%, respective to feeding systems TMR and cafeteria. There were not any statistically significant difference between cafeteria and TMR calves with respect to growth performance and blood parameters, except urea concentration, which was higher in cafeteria calves. In conclusion, cafeteria feeding increased welfare status of calf by decreasing idle standing behaviour and increasing body care without affecting growth performance significantly. Also, pre-ruminant calves in cafeteria feeding are able to make their own diet, more nitrogenous and less fibrous, as more appropriate to their digestive physiology.

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