Study of the relational network of the dairy calf raised under a nurse, before weaning - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Master Thesis Year : 2021

Study of the relational network of the dairy calf raised under a nurse, before weaning

Abstract

In a context where societal demand is influencing rearing conditions by demanding better consideration of animal welfare, alternatives are being developed. The rearing of calves under nurse is one of these relatively new practices that is becoming more widespread. However, few papers refer to the relationship between the calf and the nurse (as a mother figure), which are not biologically linked and where the adoption is distant from calving. Therefore, the purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the social interactions before the weaning in a pasture-based cow-feeder system and to see how they evolve between two session (May and August 2021). The experimental design had 9 nurses and their 25 calves. To evaluate this link, choice/separation and human avoidance tests were carried out as well as pasture observations during the two sessions. Despite a time lag between the last calving date of the nurse cow and the adoption date (up to 18 months), during the adoption test, a certain attention of the cows towards the calf was clearly shown, charaterized in part by the observation of the cow directed towards the calf and the few rejection behavior. Afterwards, a bond seems to be created between the calf and its nurse,characterized by the proximity between the individuals and a prefrenece put foward during the choice test. Later, observations show a decrease in contact between the calf and his nurse, but an increase in contact with his sisters and intercations with other calves. Finally, it does not exist a link between the avoidance distance human/cow and between human/calf. This construction of the relational network of the dairy calf evocate that observed in a model of veal under the mother.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
ReportMESSAGER_Laurine_compressed.pdf (609.05 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-03582331 , version 1 (21-02-2022)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03582331 , version 1

Cite

Laurine Messager. Study of the relational network of the dairy calf raised under a nurse, before weaning. Zootechny. 2021. ⟨hal-03582331⟩
23 View
35 Download

Share

Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More