Monday, July 18, 2016

Sorting Behavior of Weaned Dairy Calves

The investigators in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Dairy Science (Costa, J.H.C. and others. "Effect of diet changes on sorting behavior of weaned dairy calves" 99:5635-5639) examined the kind of sorting behavior among weaned dairy calves.

The calves were fed a TMR with supplementary calf starter grain (pellets) until 65 days and sorting behavior was measured. Then after 65 days the supplementary grain was removed. At 70 days the sorting behavior was measured again.

While receiving TMR with the supplementary grain the calves sorted for long particles. They preferred the forage part of the TMR.

After the supplementary grain was removed and TMR fed only, the calves sorted for fine particles. They sorted for the grain in the TMR.

1. Calves are capable of sorting a TMR.

2. Calves adjust their TMR sorting behavior in response to the availability of supplementary grain.

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