Correction sections as an element of improving efficiency of beef cattle husbandry with year-round free-range Animal’s Housing

Keywords: Aberdeen Angus breed; cows; calves; young survival rate; live weight; technological elements; colostrum; immune protection.

Abstract

The unprofitableness in the industry of beef cattle husbandry is associated with the death of newborn calves during the colostral period (calves have insufficient immune protection, which can be obtained only with timely use of colostrum) due to imperfection in the housing technology or its individual elements. We have been conducted two experiments: the first one – on calves and cows of the second calving, and the second - on calves and cows of the third calving and older. At revealing of a problematic cow–calf pair (cow’s refusal of the calf or calf’s refusal to consume colostrum) in 2017 and 2018, a new technological housing element was introduced in the experimental groups of animals – transfer of the problematic cow–calf pair to a separate correction section, for common housing to stimulate cow’s maternal instincts or the calf’s eating behavior. According to the data of the first part of our experiment, it was found that the number of problem calves received from cows of the second calving in first group was 2 calves, in second and third group – 1 calf each, respectively. The live weight of problem calves at birth between the three groups was not significant. According to this indicator, calves from the first group had lower live weight by 1.5 kg compared to animals from the second group and by 1 kg compared to animals from the third group. The problem calves, which were transferred together with the cows to separate correction sections, reached the highest live weight when weaned, compared with animals kept under traditional farming technology, the preference was 63.3 kg and 64.8 kg, respectively. In general, in the experimental group, which included the problem calves, the calves’ live weight at weaning showed a significant difference between animals of first and third groups which amounted to 6.2 kg (P > 0.95). According to data from the second part of the experiment, which was carried out on cows of third calving and older cows with offsprings, three problem calves were identified in each group. With a slight difference in the live weight of problem calves at birth, the advantage in this indicator during weaning was in animals of the second and third groups, which were transferred to separate correction sections, which amounted to 62.0 kg and 63.5 kg. Overall, a significant difference of 3.1 kg (P > 0.95) was revealed in weight during the weaning between first and third groups of calves. It was found that at transference of problem “cow-calf” pair into a separate correction section the survival rate of problem calves increased from 33–50 % to 67–100 %. Thus, by transference of problem cow–calf pairs into separate correction sections during the colostral period with year-round free-range housing, it is possible to increase the survival rate of problem calves and ensure their full-value growth.

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Published
2020-01-25
How to Cite
Dydykina, A. I., Prudnikov, V. H., Kolisnyk, O. I., & Vasylieva, Y. A. (2020). Correction sections as an element of improving efficiency of beef cattle husbandry with year-round free-range Animal’s Housing. Theoretical and Applied Veterinary Medicine, 8(1), 20-25. https://doi.org/10.32819/2020.81004