1002MinimizeCrossSuckingsr.cfm Malatya Haber Minimize cross-sucking
Home News Livestock Crops Markets Hay, Range & Pasture Home & Family Classifieds Resources This Week's Journal
Commerical Hay Equipment For The Farm
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer

Farm Survey

Journal Getaways

Reader Comment:
by ohio bo

"An excellent essay on fairs that brought back many memories for me. In my part"....Read the story...
Join other discussions.

Minimize cross-sucking

Cross-sucking among dairy heifers can occur both before and after weaning. However, it is most often seen during the 10 to 15 minutes immediately following milk feeding of pre-weaned calves.

The impact of cross-sucking on heifer mastitis makes it an important issue to monitor on your operation. A March 2012 Journal of Dairy Science article lists control of cross-sucking as one of 10 farm-specific interventions that should be in place on any farm to prevent and control heifer mastitis.

Sam Leadley, calf management specialist with Attica Veterinary Associates in western New York, discussed ways to control cross-sucking in calves and heifers in his September Calving Ease newsletter.

“Cross-sucking is considered abnormal behavior,” Leadley writes. “It is not observed in calf-dam pairs.”

Here are some practices that can help minimize this behavior:

House calves individually rather than in groups;

In a group-housing system, use headlocks at feeding stations and keep calves restrained for 10 to 15 minutes after milk feeding;

Regardless of feeding method (mob verses ad lib acidified verses automatic) the availability of a teat to suck on can reduce cross-sucking; and

Observe calves frequently, watching for repetitive behavior to identify calves exhibiting cross-sucking behavior.

Among weaned-calf pairs, there are devices that can be used on both calves to stop sucking behavior. “Try searching the Internet using ‘dairy calf weaner,’” Leadley says. A quick Google search yielded options like a lightweight, plastic anti-sucking device that can be attached to a calf’s nose to deter sucking.

Cross-sucking in dairy calves and heifers is not something to ignore. Its impact on the udder health of heifers makes prevention and control efforts hugely important in calf and heifer management programs.

Date: 10/28/2013

Web hpj.com

Copyright 1995-2014.  High Plains Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Any republishing of these pages, including electronic reproduction of the editorial archives or classified advertising, is strictly prohibited. If you have questions or comments you can reach us at
High Plains Journal 1500 E. Wyatt Earp Blvd., P.O. Box 760, Dodge City, KS 67801 or call 1-800-452-7171. Email: webmaster@hpj.com


Archives Search

NCBA Convention

United Sorghum Checkoff Program

Inside Futures

Editorial Archives

Browse Archives