Prevalence and effects of management practices around calving on the health, behaviour, and productivity of Holstein dairy calves

dc.contributor.advisorHaley, Derek
dc.contributor.advisorPearl, David
dc.contributor.authorVillettaz Robichaud, Marianne of Population Medicineen_US Centre for the Study of Animal Welfareen_US of Guelphen_US of Philosophyen_US Medicineen_US
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is an investigation of the prevalence and impacts of different management practices around calving, with a specific focus on the effects of early systematic obstetrical assistance and the addition of gut-active carbohydrate to colostrum replacer, on Holstein dairy calves. The first study examined the analysis of a survey conducted on 236 Canadian dairy farms to gather information about the management practices currently used around calving on farms representative of the Canadian industry. A key finding was that 27% of the producers surveyed assisted all of their cows at calving. The second study was a randomized clinical trial conducted on a large commercial dairy farm in western Wisconsin, USA, to evaluate the effects of systematic obstetrical assistance provided early during the second stage of calving. The impacts of this practice were evaluated during the perinatal period in all calves, and until weaning for heifer calves. The main findings of this study were that the vigor scores of calves born from early-assisted calvings were better than those from calves born from unassisted calvings, and there were no significant negative impacts on the calves when their dams were assisted early during the second stage of calving. A second randomized clinical trial was conducted on the same large commercial dairy farm in Wisconsin to evaluate the effects of adding gut-active carbohydrates to colostrum replacer on dairy calves’ passive immunity absorption, health, and growth. The key findings of this study were that immunoglobulin absorption was not improved by the addition of gut-active carbohydrates to the colostrum replacer, and no significant effects were found on health or growth of the heifers to weaning. The findings described in this dissertation provide new information on the prevalence and effects of specific calving management practices and post-calving colostrum management on the health and behaviour of calves, and highlight areas for future study and enhanced knowledge translation and transfer concerning the management of dams and their calves during the perinatal period.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Foods and Rural affairs
dc.description.sponsorshipValacta Inc.
dc.description.sponsorshipNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
dc.description.sponsorshipOVC fellowship
dc.description.sponsorshipDairy farmers of Canada
dc.description.sponsorshipAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada
dc.description.sponsorshipSaskatoon Colostrum Co.
dc.description.sponsorshipLand O'Lakes
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rights.licenseAll items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectDairy calvesen_US
dc.subjectObstetrical assistanceen_US
dc.subjectCalving managementen_US
dc.subjectCalving assistanceen_US
dc.titlePrevalence and effects of management practices around calving on the health, behaviour, and productivity of Holstein dairy calvesen_US


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
1.52 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format
PhD thesis