Group housing preweaned dairy calves : socialization vs. disease transmission
Adams Progar, Amber L.
Moore, Dale A.
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Hand-rearing dairy calves away from their dams may alter calf behavior development, especially social behavior. Traditionally, dairy producers have invested in individual hutches or pens to raise newborns to weaning, but pair or group housing systems are increasing in popularity and may potentially improve calf social behavior development. Research on calf behavior has shed light on the potential effects of individual versus pair or group housing. The objective of this publication is to provide a brief summary of the advantages and disadvantages of calf group housing for dairy producers and veterinarians considering this type of housing system. In particular, this publication focuses on calf behavior, health, and performance.