|Title||Effects of restricted suckling on forage intake of range calves|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1996|
|Authors||Sowell B.F., Wallace J.D., Branine M.E., Hubbert M.E., Fredrickson E.L., Bowman J.G.|
|Journal||Journal of Range Management|
|Keywords||blue grama, Bouteloua gracilis, buffalograss, cow, feeding behavior, milk intake, milk restriction, rangelands|
Twenty two-year-old primiparous Angus X Hereford cows and their heifer calves were used to study effects of milk consumption on calf performance, suckling behavior, and forage intake. Ten cow-calf pairs were allotted to each of 2 treatments on blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis [H.B.K.] Lag.) rangeland. Calves from 5 cows were prevented from suckling the rear udder quarters for 4 weeks to reduce milk intake by 32% when calves averaged 71 +/- 4 days of age. The other 5 calves were allowed to suckle normally. Four 12-day sampling periods were conducted from June through September. Calves from the control treatment weighed more (P < 0.05) than restricted calves in each period and at weaning. Calves from the restricted treatment did not (P > 0.10) suckle longer or more frequently than control calves during any sampling period. Forage organic matter intake was not (P > 0.10) different between cows or calves from either group at any date. Milk production was not different (P > 0.10) between groups 1 month after restriction periods were terminated. Calves on 4 week milk restriction did not increase forage organic matter intake and had decreased weaning weights compared to control animals.