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Advances in understanding behavioral needs and improving the welfare of calves and heifers

Code: 9781801460958
Emily Miller-Cushon, University of Florida, USA; and Jennifer Van Os, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Chapter synopsis: Management factors affecting dairy calves have broad impacts on behavioral development and implications for long-term welfare, and research in this area is increasingly focused on understanding the behavioral needs of the calf, to refine management and improve understanding of welfare. In this chapter, we summarize recent research addressing behavioral needs of pre-weaned calves and post-weaned heifers, encompassing aspects of social interactions and feeding, rest and comfort, and opportunities for other behavioral expression. In general, evidence suggests welfare and performance benefits of accommodating more natural behavioral expression, including social contact, higher milk intakes fed via a teat, dietary variety, and space and resources to accommodate preferred activities, such as grooming and play. Throughout these sections, consequences of restricting these behaviors includes development of abnormal oral behaviors. Emerging themes of this area of research include consideration of individual differences and implications and approaches to accommodate broader behavioral expression through increasing environmental complexity.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0084.10
£25.00
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Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Addressing social needs 3 Addressing feeding needs 4 Addressing resting and environmental comfort needs 5 Addressing other behavioral needs 6 Common themes and developing areas of research 7 Conclusion 8 Where to look for further information 9 References

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