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Mother-bonded and fostered calf rearing


Usually, dairy cow calves are separated from their mothers during their first day of life, in order to allow the cows to be mechanically milked together with the rest of the herd. The calves are then fed with fresh cow's milk, which they drink from teat buckets. This is a well-tried system. However, there is an increasing number of farmers wishing to leave the calves with their mothers for a longer period of time in a way that still allows for the cows to be milked. This facilitates an intensive cow-calf relationship, but is not always easily practicable. Further development of this calf-rearing system is needed to facilitate wider implementation. A platform will enable exchange between practicing and interested farmers, as well as the processing of gathered information. An advisory service will help the farmers to effectively implement mother-bonded and fostered calf rearing on their own farms.

Financing/ Donor
  • Vier Pfoten
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Research area
FiBL project number 55203
Date modified 12.11.2019
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