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Effect of heifers rearing manner during liquid milk nutrition on their growth and maze behavior after 12 months.

J. Broucek

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06-24-2020

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Abstract:

W64
Effect of heifers rearing manner during liquid milk nutrition on their growth and maze behavior after 12 months.
J. Broucek*, M. Uhrincat, P. Kisac, A. Hanus. National Agricultural and Food Centre Luzianky, Slovakia.

The objective of this study was to test the hypotheses that heifers growth and behavior after 12 mo (M) are affected by feeding/housing before weaning. Fifty-one Holstein heifers were assigned to 1 of 3 rearing treatments: SM, n = 18, pen with mother (milked from d 2) to d 21, suck a mother's udder 3 times daily, then group pen (6 kg milk daily, bucket with nipple); SN, n = 16, after 3 d with own mother in pen with nursing cow, calves could drink at any time, number of calves per nursing cow determined according to milk yield (6 kg milk per d.calf−1); H, n = 17, after having nursed their dams in individual pen for 24 h in hutch to d 56 (bucket with nipple, milk replacer (MR) 6 kg daily), then loose housing pen to weaning (bucket with nipple, MR 6 kg daily). Group SM allowed 21 d suckle, 63 d bucket fed; SN allowed 84 d suckle; H allowed 1 d suckle, 83 d bucket fed. From d 2 until weaning the heifers were fed concentrate and alfalfa hay ad libitum. The weaning was at d 84. After weaning, all heifers were kept in age-balanced groups in bedded pens with the same ration. The growth of live body weight (LBW) was recorded. The maze behavior was tested in the 12th and 19th month (M) of the age. Heifers solved 6 tasks during 3 d in the 8 � 14 m facility. The time of speed of traversing the maze was recorded. The data were analyzed using a General Linear Model ANOVA. The highest LBW was recorded in SN and the lowest in H (SM 336 � 42 kg, SN 362 � 46 kg, H 328 � 41 kg, P < 0.01). The ADG from d 360 to 570 were 0.89 � 0.29 kg (SM), 0.86 � 0.31 kg (SN), 0.72 � 0.27 kg (H) (P < 0.05). At the 12 and 19 M, SN crossed the maze fastest and H slowest. The times of all tests differed significantly (12 M: SM 1220 � 370 S, SN 892 � 424 s, H 1345 � 490 s, P < 0.05; 19 M: SM 1198 � 377 S, SN 909 � 408 s, H 1290 � 390 s, P < 0.05). The results indicate that the method used to rear heifers may have a significant impact on their later growth and behavior.

Keywords: rearing, growth, behavior.