Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences
Thirty-six dairy calves were observed for four months to determine the effect of three housing methods, group, individual and isolated on body weight gain, feed consumption, age when started to consume grain, daily activity patterns, open field test of behavior and social rank. Six calves were assigned to each of the three treatments in two separate trials of eighteen calves. These calves were raised in their treatment for approximately two months and then weaned and placed together in a group of eighteen for two more months.
Treatments ranked in order from high to low according to least squares means for weight gain over four months were: group, individual and isolated. The differences were, however, not significant (P>.05). There was a significant difference in weight gain from weaning until four months between the group calves and the isolated calves, with the group calves gaining weight faster during this weaned period (P<.05). Group calves began consuming grain at a younger age (P<.Ol) than the calves on the other two treatments, but total feed consumed over the first 10 weeks was not significantly different (P>.05).
Isolated calves tended to spend a greater portion of the time lying down than calves in the other two treatments but the difference was not significant (P>.05). In the open-field test isolated calves entered more squares than the group or individual calves, but the group calves were the most vocal of the calves in the three treatments (P<.Ol). The group calves placed higher in the social order and won a higher percentage of encounters (P<.Ol) than the individual or isolated calves during the weaned period.
Warnick, Val D., "Effects of Group, Individual, and Isolated Rearing of Dairy Calves on Weight Gain and Social Development" (1976). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 4792.
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