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Weaning strategies to improve productivity and animal welfare in zebu (Bos indicus) and water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)

Orihuela, Agustín; Mota-Rojas, Daniel; Napolitano, Fabio.
J. Anim. Behav. Biometeorol.; 08(04): 257-265, Oct. 2020. ilus, tab
Artigo em Inglês | VETINDEX | ID: vti-763896


Information on approaches to weaning zebu (Bos indicus) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) calves is scarce in proportion to studies of breeds of B. taurus cattle, whetherdairy or beef. Little research has been done to test or validate methods evolved in cattle-ranching to these other species.Hence, expanding our understanding of appropriate, species specific methods of weaning could support the development ofapproaches or strategies that have the potential to improve animal welfare and productive performance in temperate or tropical climes. This review focuses on traditional and currentweaning strategies in an attempt to improve productivity and animal welfare for water buffaloes and zebus. For the case of the water buffalo, it examines common, routine weaningtechniques and procedures as well as novel approaches, while for the zebu it discusses abrupt versus gradual and early versuslate weaning as strategies and routines usually employed during this process. Finally, it analyses how new weaning techniques may reduce stress while enhancing productivity atthe same time. These approaches include fence-line weaning, nose-flaps (plastic devices that prevent the calf from grabbing a teat to suckle), restricted suckling and a section on practicaltips to decrease the stress induced by weaning in zebus. A better understanding of certain weaning techniques could, therefore, benefit calf welfare while simultaneously increasingcows' reproductive performance. Unfortunately, data on such approaches is scant, so despite published findings, several key issues remain unsolved living room for additional studies.(AU)
Biblioteca responsável: BR68.1
Localização: BR68.1