Strategies for keeping dairy cows and calves together – a cross-sectional survey study

SND-ID: 2022-37

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Karin Alvåsen - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences orcid

Description

Interest in keeping dairy calves with adult cows for a period of time after calving is increasing among consumers and dairy farmers. At present, however, it is largely unexplored how dairy farmers implement cow-calf housing on their farms. This survey therefore investigated how dairy farms with cow-calf contact managed their animals during the time that cows and calves are in contact. In addition, it evaluated which aspects of management were perceived as most challenging, and how farmers dealt with these challenges. Interviews were conducted on 104 dairy farms from six European countries. The farms kept cows and calves together for at least 7 days, and sold milk to dairies. The respondent could be either the owner or the farm manager. Cow-calf farming was practised on farms with a wide range of management systems, from small farms that kept their animals outdoors throughout the year and milked cows by hand or in mobile clamp milking machines to robotic farms. Calves could be kept with the dam or foster cow for part or all of the milking period. Daily contact time varied between farms, from 15

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Language

English

Research principal, contributors, and funding

Principal's reference number

SLU.kv.2022.IÄ-3

Responsible department/unit

Department of Clinical Sciences

Contributor(s)

Silvia Ivemeyer orcid

Ute Knierim orcid

Hanna Eriksson orcid

Nils Fall orcid

Roswitha Weissensteiner

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Funding

  • Funding agency: transnational funding bodies, being partners of the H2020 ERA-net project, CORE Organic Cofund, and the cofund from the European Commission.
  • Funding agency's reference number: CORE Organic cofund number 727495
  • Project name on the application: ProYoungStock - Promoting young stock and cow health and welfare by natural feeding systems
Protection and ethical review

Data contains personal data

Yes

Type of personal data

Pseudonymised information (names) of respondents

Code key exists

Yes

Method and time period

Unit of analysis

Population

European dairy farmers with cow-calf contact

Time Method

Sampling procedure

Non-probability
Non-probability sampling
It is difficult to identify dairy farms with cow-calf farming from central registers. Therefore, to recruit farms, outreach activities were carried out through existing cooperation networks, personal contacts and advertising.
Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden, France, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria

Geographic description: Data from seven European countries: France, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Austria.

Publications

H. Eriksson, N. Fall, S. Ivemeyer, U. Knierim, C. Simantke, B. Fuerst-Waltl, C. Winckler, R. Weissensteiner, D. Pomiès, B. Martin, A. Michaud, A. Priolo, M. Caccamo, T. Sakowski, M. Stachelek, A. Spengler Neff, A. Bieber, C. Schneider, K. Alvåsen, 2022, Strategies for keeping dairy cows and calves together – a cross-sectional survey study, Animal, Volume 16, Issue 9,
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.animal.2022.100624

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Dataset
Strategies for keeping dairy cows and calves together

Description

Structured questionnaire-based interviews regarding the management and feeding of cows and calves were conducted on 104 European dairy farms where calves were kept with adult lactating cows for at least 7 days after calving. The study collected mainly quantitative data, which allowed the inclusion of a larger number of farms. As it is not possible to identify farms with cow-calf contact in central databases, the included farms represent a non-probability sample. However, this study is currently

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Data format / data structure

Numeric

Text

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Karin Alvåsen - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences orcid

Time period(s) investigated

2018-12-10 – 2019-06-25

Published: 2022-11-08