THE BEHAVIOR OF CALVES PUBLISHEDLiana Mihaela Fericean, Radu Palicica, Olga Rada
In this paper we present a few behavioral features regarding birth process, cow and calf bonding, feeding, rumination, resting as well as behaviour on pasture. As biologic materials we used cows of the Bruna breed, in extensive raising system belonging to some households in Varfurile County of Arad. Suckling behaviour begins 0,5 - 1 hours after birth and the mother must be standing. The mother licks the young to stimulate breathing, circulation, urination and defecation. Calves usually stand 30 minutes after birth, and are suckling 0.5 - 1 hours later; the mother aids suckling by positioning her body for easier access. Between birth and 4 months, the mean duration of suckling time for calves was seen to be 25 minutes, with the suckling frequency being 3 times per day. Vision, olfactory and vocal senses are involved in cow and calf identification. Nutritional behavior occurs both during the suckling and feeding of the animals after weaning. Social behavior is well expressed by calves, they are social animals and require contact with other calves or with their mothers and have a preference for games in which aggressive elements can be found. Resting behavior is influenced by several factors, the most important being age, floor structure, state of health. Younger animals require a longer rest period. Grazing behaviour is affected by many factors, including environmental conditions and plant species. The calves begin to pasture in the first weeks of age for 10 -15 minutes a day and as they grow older the grazing time is gradually increased as well as the amount of ingested food. At two months old grazing time is about 3 hours a day, at 4 months old about 4-5 hour a day and at 6 months old about 6 hours daily. This period is divided into 4-5 reprises alternating with periods of rest. For the 6 months old calves the duration is 6-7 hours of grazing per day. The resting occurs between grazing reprisals with a longer duration at night. As they grow old the calves will reduce their resting time and increase the grazing time. They ruminate when resting and time devoted to ruminating is approximately three-quarters of that spent in grazing If pasture is good, ruminating time is short, if the herbage is poor and fibrous, ruminating time is longer. Ethology involvement in the research and practice of animal farming represents an element of actuality and novelty. Knowledge of animal behavior by the scientists who work in this field is critical because only by adapting their life to the farming technologies and the other way around it can bring to production parameters optimization.
comportment; caws; calves; pasture