Factors affecting rearing practices and health of calves on family farms
Aim of the study: Calf rearing practices vary in different countries and may be affected by many factors. Poor management is related to diseases outbreak and death in calves. This study aimed to analyze practices in calf rearing and the occurrence of common calf diseases on family farms in two European countries and to examine the characteristics of a farmer and his farm as factors that may affect the way of performing practices related to calves’ health.
Area of study: Slovenia and Serbia.
Material and methods: For collecting data, the same questionnaire-based survey was distributed among cattle farm owners in Slovenia and Serbia.
Main results: The following factors showed a significant influence (p<0.05) on certain rearing practices: farm size (on time for checking calves, milk reheating, and providing rehydration fluids to the calf with diarrhea in Slovenia), specialization of the production (on preventive antiparasitic treatments and restriction of drinking water for calves with diarrhea in Slovenia, and the time for checking calves in Serbia), breeder’s age (on colostrum quality checking in Slovenia), and breeder’s education (on time for checking calves and checking colostrum quality in Serbia). The results pointed out the rearing practices to be improved in both countries, Slovenia and Serbia, such as colostrum management and prevention strategies of calf diseases.Research highlights: Characteristics of the farmer and his farm may affect many aspects of calves’ rearing. Continuous education of farmers and appropriate production planning can contribute to better farm productivity and better health and welfare of calves.
Agnetti F, Righi C, Scoccia E, Felici A, Crotti S, Moretta I, Moretti A, Maresca C, Troiani L, Papini M, 2014. Trichophyton verrucosum infection in cattle farms of Umbria (Central Italy) and transmission to humans. Mycoses 57: 400-405. https://doi.org/10.1111/myc.12174
Colditz IG, Ferguson DM, Collins T, Matthews L, Hemsworth PH, 2014. A prototype tool to enable farmers to measure and improve the welfare performance of the farm animal enterprise: the unified field index. Animals 4: 446-462. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani4030446
Cvijanović D, Subić J, Paraušić V, 2014. Agricultural holdings by economic size and type of production in the Republic of Serbia 2012. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Belgrade. (In Serbian).
Davidova S, Thomson K, 2014. Family farming in Europe: challenges and prospects. In-depth analysis for the AGRI Committee, European Parliament, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Policy Department B, Structural and Cohesion Policies. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/studies
Donovan GA, Dohoo IR, Montgomery DM, Bennett FL, 1998. Calf and disease factors affecting growth in female Holstein calves in Florida, USA. Prev Vet Med 33: 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-5877(97)00059-7
EFSA, 2015. EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (AHAW), Scientific opinion on the assessment of dairy cow welfare in small-scale farming systems. EFSA Journal 13 (6): 4137-4239. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4137
Eurostat, 2017. Farmers in the EU - statistics. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Archive:Farmers_in_the_EU_-_statistics
Eurostat, 2018. Agriculture statistics - family farming in the EU. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Agriculture_statistics_-_family_farming_in_the_EU#Further_Eurostat_information
FAO, 2010. Dairy farm numbers worldwide. In: Status and prospects for smallholder milk production - A global perspective, by Hemme T & Otte J (eds.), Chapter 2.5. FAO, Rome, pp. 24-25.
FAWC, 2015. Opinion on the welfare implications of nutritional management strategies for artificially-reared calves from birth to weaning. https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/farm-animal-welfare-committee-fawc
Goodarzi M, Khamesipour F, Mahallati SA, Dehkordi MK, Azizi S, 2015. Study on prevalence of bacterial causes in calves arthritis. ARPN J Agr Biol Sci 10: 206-212.
Göz Y, Altuğ N, Yüksek N, Cumali Ö, 2006. Parasites detected in neonatal and young calves with diarrhea. B Vet I Pulawy 50: 345-348.
Gulliksen SM, Lie KI, Løken T, Østerås O, 2009. Calf mortality in Norwegian dairy herds. J Dairy Sci 92: 2782-2795. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2008-1807
Hötzel MJ, Longo C, Balcao LF, Cardoso CS, Costa JHC, 2014. A survey of management practices that influence performance and welfare of dairy calves reared in Southern Brazil. PLoS One 9 (12): e114995. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0114995
IBM Corp., 2011. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0. IBM Corp, Armonk, NY.
Klein-Jöbst D, Arnholdt T, Sturmlechner F, Iwersen M, Drillich M, 2015. Results of an online questionnaire to survey calf management practices on dairy cattle breeding farms in Austria and to estimate differences in disease incidences depending on farm structure and management practices. Acta Vet Scand 57 (1): 44-53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13028-015-0134-y
Lorenz I, Mee JF, Earley B, More SJ, 2011a. Calf health from birth to weaning. I. General aspects of disease prevention. Ir Vet J 64: 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-0481-64-10
Lorenz I, Fagan J, More SJ, 2011b. Calf health from birth to weaning. II. Management of diarrhoea in pre-weaned calves. Ir Vet J 64: 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-0481-64-9
Lorenz I, Earley B, Gilmore J, Hogan I, Kennedy E, More SJ, 2011c. Calf health from birth to weaning. III. Housing and management of calf pneumonia. Ir Vet J 64: 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-0481-64-14
Marce C, Guatteo R, Bareille N, Fourichon C, 2010. Dairy calf housing systems across Europe and risk for calf infectious diseases. Animal 4: 1588-1596. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731110000650
Marshall T, 2009. Abomasal ulceration and tympany of calves. Vet Clin N Am-Food A 25: 209-220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2008.10.010
McGuirk SM, Ruegg P, 2019. Calf diseases and prevention. https://dairy-cattle.extension.org/calf-diseases-and-prevention/
McGuirk SM, Peek SF, 2014. Timely diagnosis of dairy calf respiratory disease using a standardized scoring system. Anim Health Res Rev 15 (2): 145-147. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1466252314000267
Mee JF, 2008. Newborn dairy calf management. Vet Clin N Am-Food A 24: 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2007.10.002
Mornet P, Espinasse J, 1990. Das Kalb. Hengersberg, Germany: Schober Verlag, pp: 259-265.
Ortiz-Pelaez A, Pritchard DG, Pfeiffer DU, Jones E, Honeyman P, Mawdsley JJ, 2008. Calf mortality as a welfare indicator on British cattle farms. Vet J 176: 177-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2007.02.006
Panciera RJ, Confer AW, 2010. Pathogenesis and pathology of bovine pneumonia. Vet Clin N Am-Food A 26: 191-214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvfa.2010.04.001
Papini R, Nardoni S, Fanelli A, Mancianti F, 2009. High infection rate of Trichophyton verrucosum in calves from Central Italy. Zoonoses Public Health 56: 59-64. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1863-2378.2008.01157.x
Relić R, Savić M, Beckei Zs, Kučević D, Starič J, Ježek J, 2017. Watering practices at small-scale farms of ruminants. Proc ISAS 2017, Herceg Novi (Montenegro), June 5-10, pp: 296-301.
Renaud DLT, Duffield F, LeBlanc SJ, Haley DB, Kelton DF, 2017. Management practices for male calves on Canadian dairy farms. J Dairy Sci 100: 6862-6871. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-12750
Ritter C, Jansen J, Roche S, Kelton DF, Adams CL, Orsel K, Erskine RJ, Benedictus G, Lam TJGM, Barkema HW, 2017. Invited review: Determinants of farmers' adoption of management-based strategies for infectious disease prevention and control. J Dairy Sci 100: 3329-3347. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11977
RZS, 2018. Database. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. http://www.stat.gov.rs
Santman-Berends IMGA, Buddiger M, Smolenaars AJG, Steuten CDM, Roos CAJ, Van Erp AJM, Van Schaik G, 2014. A multidisciplinary approach to determine factors associated with calf rearing practices and calf mortality in dairy herds. Prev Vet Med 117: 375-387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.07.011
Sarrazin S, Cayb AB, Laureyns J, Dewulf J, 2014. A survey on biosecurity and management practices in selected Belgian cattle farms. Prev Vet Med 117: 129-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.07.014
Schnieder T, Epe C, Ilchmann G, 1999. Survey on parasite control in dairy cattle in northern Germany. Vet Rec 145: 704-706.
SURS, 2018. SI-Stat Database. https://www.stat.si/statweb/en
Vasseur E, Borderas F, Cue RI, Lefebvre D, Pellerin D, Rushen J, Wade KM, de Passillé AM 2010. A survey of dairy calf management practices in Canada that affect animal welfare. J Dairy Sci 93: 1307-1315. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2009-2429
Velde FV, Charlier J, Claerebout E, 2018. Farmer behavior and gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminant livestock-Uptake of sustainable control approaches. Front Vet Sci 5: 255. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00255
Wenge J, Steinhöfel I, Heinrich C, Coenen M, Bachmann L, 2014. Water and concentrate intake, weight gain and duration of diarrhea in young suckling calves on different diets. Livest Sci 159: 133-140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2013.11.004
Wieland M, Mann S, Guard CL, Nydam DV, 2017. The influence of 3 different navel dips on calf health, growth performance, and umbilical infection assessed by clinical and ultrasonographic examination. J Dairy Sci 100: 513-524. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11654
© INIA. Manuscripts published are the property of the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, and quoting this source is a requirement for any partial or full reproduction.
SJAR is an Open Access Journal. All articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. You may read here the basic information and the legal text of the license. The indication of the license CC-by must be expressly stated in this way when necessary.