Acta Vet Scand 2020 Nov 19;62(1):63. Epub 2020 Nov 19.
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Groennegaardsvej 8, 1870, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate if calves' play behaviour and non-nutritive sucking behaviour, as indirect measures of welfare status, are associated with the age of the calf when group housed, age when observed, age difference within the group, pen size, milk feeding system, current or previous sicknesses, access to dry teat, indoor/outdoor rearing, sex, organic/conventional farm, group size and regrouping events. An observational study was conducted on 176 Danish dairy calves in the age range of 1-12 weeks, on both conventional (n = 17) and organic (n = 5) farms. All calves had been group housed before 8 weeks of age and had spent various periods of time with the dam and/or individually housed before being group housed. Read More