The influence of milk withdrawal, stable routines and separation from dam on suckling behaviour of Hereford calves
Abstract. The influence of milk withdrawal, stable routines and separation from dam on suckling behaviour of beef calves was tested in an 8x8 Latin square experiment. Length of the meal and length of the longest bout were measured to describe the meal as a whole. Length of pre-stimulation, increasing ejection, declining ejection, and afterstimulation were measured to describe the structure of meal. Eagerness of suckling was described as relative suckling time and non-suckling. Milk withdrawal increased length of meal and longest bout, but did not influence structure of meal. Milk withdrawal resulted in cistern-milk being available already before ejection and thereby in longer bouts during pre-stimulation. Milk withdrawal had no influence on eagerness of suckling. Stable routines had no influence on meal as a whole, but increased pre- and decreased after-stimulation and tended to result in somewhat longer bouts during pre-stimulation. There was no influence of stable routines on eagerness of suckling. Separation from dam had no influence on meal as a whole or structure of meal, but increased eagerness of suckling for the whole meal and for almost all periods. The experimental results partially sustained results from a field study.