Suckling behaviour and fertility in beef cows on pasture. I. Suckling behaviour

Author: I.B. Stewart, B.P. Louw and A.W. Lishman
Year: 1993
Issue: 5
Volume: 23
Page: 176 - 179

The suckling behaviour of one- to three-month-old calves, suckled by 66 Hereford, Simmentaler and Hereford X Simmentaler cows, was studied. The most common frequency of suckling in 24 h was 4, and the mean duration of each suckling event was 9.6 min. Suckling events were not evenly distributed throughout the 24-h period. Regardless of suckling frequency or days post partum, the most common suckling period was between 04:00 and 06:00. The lowest frequency of suckling recorded was in the period from midnight to dawn. The longest interval between two suckling events in all cows over the 24-h period always occurred before dawn and became longer as the calf grew older (P < 0.01). Once the mating season commenced the onset of oestrus was positively correlated (P < 0.01) with the length of the longest inter-suckling period.


Keywords: Beef calves, beef cows, oestrus, suckling behaviour
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