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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Prisca Waldherr (2022): Auswirkungen erhöhter Milchmengen (14-16% vs. 10-12% des Körpergewichts) auf das Verhalten von Kälbern.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Nutztierwissenschaften (NUWI), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 47. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Feeding recommendations for dairy calves often suggest restrictive feeding of milk (10-12% of the calf’s body weight), which is far below the amount a calf would ingest under natural conditions. The aim of the present study was to investigate how an increased milk feeding level (14-16% of the calf’s body weight; 12 l/d, ‘MilkPlus’) affects oral behaviour, vocalizations and time spent with solid feed intake in female Fleckvieh calves compared to restrictive milk feeding (10-12% of the calf’s body weight, 8 l/d, ‘Control’) from week 3 of life. The study was carried out on three organic farms in Austria. The calves were group-housed in straw-bedded pens and were fed twice daily from teat buckets. Both groups were weaned between week 11 and 13. Body weight, health state and behaviour were recorded at four timepoints (week of life 3/4; 7/8; 11/12; 15/16). Behavioural observation (20 minutes per hour) were carried out from video recordings taken from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.. Linear mixed models were used for statistical analysis. Though not statistically significant, MilkPlus-calves had on average always a higher body weight than control calves. Control-calves spent more time consuming solid feed, possibly compensating for the lack of milk. There was no effect of the feeding method on oral behaviours and vocalization, but there were large individual differences. The consumption of 12l milk per day showed no negative impacts on the calves’ health. Even if the experiment only had limited effects on behaviour, an increase in the amount of milk by 4% of body weight is to be welcomed because of the positive effect on physical development. Further research is needed e.g. with regard to effects on behaviour when milk is fed more than twice a day or when higher amounts of milk are fed from the first week of life onwards.

Beurteilende*r: Winckler Christoph

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