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Effects of amount of milk, milk flow and access to a rubber teat on cross-sucking and non-nutritive sucking in dairy calves.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11311414     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The aim of this study was to test the effects of different amounts of milk, flow rate of milk, and access to a teat after milk intake on non-nutritive sucking on an empty teat and on cross-sucking on other calves in Bos taurus dairy calves. An additional aim was to test if calves prefer to perform non-nutritive sucking on a teat with the taste of milk or on a clean teat. First experiment involved 11 groups of three calves during gradual decrease from 5 to 2.5 and 1 to 0l of whole milk per meal twice daily. Milk flow was either 0.5 or 1l/min, and the teat buckets were either left or removed after milk intake. When the calves were fed with 5l of milk, non-nutritive sucking and cross-sucking decreased (P<0.001), compared to 1 and 2.5l. Removing the empty teat after milk intake increased cross-sucking (P<0.001). Slow milk flow reduced non-nutritive sucking after milk intake (P<0.05), but did not influence cross-sucking. Duration of recorded milk intake was similar with fast flow and 5l of milk, compared to slow flow and 2.5l of milk. The latter combination increased non-nutritive sucking and cross-sucking, suggesting that amount of milk is more important than duration of milk intake.Second experiment was carried out on 12 individually kept calves. The calves received 2.5l of milk either in an open bucket, in a rubber teat bucket, or half/half in both buckets. When not used for feeding, the open bucket and the teat bucket were filled and emptied again to make them 'tasty' with some drops of milk. The tasty teat bucket was either removed or present after milk intake. The calves had always access to a second clean teat bucket. Source of milk had no influence on recorded behaviour after milk intake. The tasty teat was sucked for twice as long as the clean one when both teats were present (P<0.001). When the tasty teat was removed, the calves increased sucking on the clean teat (P<0.001), but decreased total time spent sucking (P<0.001). We conclude that a high amount of milk and the presence of the teat bucket after milk intake reduces cross-sucking, and that a clean teat is less effective in encouraging calves to suck than a teat with taste of milk.
J Jung; L Lidfors
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Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Applied animal behaviour science     Volume:  72     ISSN:  0168-1591     ISO Abbreviation:  Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.     Publication Date:  2001 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-Apr-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8504276     Medline TA:  Appl Anim Behav Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  201-213     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23, Skara, Sweden
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