Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-79b67bcb76-6rw4p Total loading time: 0.231 Render date: 2021-05-16T07:16:55.616Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

A survey on dairy heifer farm management practices in a Western-European plainland, the French Pays de la Loire region

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 February 2012

Y. LE COZLER
Affiliation:
Agrocampus-Ouest, UMR 1348 Physiology, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems, 65 Rue de St-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France UMT RIEL, Domaine de la Prise, 35590 St-Gilles, France
O. RECOURSÉ
Affiliation:
CLASEL, 141 Boulevard des Loges, 53942 St-Berthevin Cedex, France
E. GANCHE
Affiliation:
Agrocampus-Ouest, UMR 1348 Physiology, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems, 65 Rue de St-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
D. GIRAUD
Affiliation:
Agrocampus-Ouest, UMR 1348 Physiology, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems, 65 Rue de St-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
J. DANEL
Affiliation:
Agrocampus-Ouest, UMR 1348 Physiology, Environment and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems, 65 Rue de St-Brieuc, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France
M. BERTIN
Affiliation:
Les Contrôles de Performances, Rue de la Géraudière, 44939 Nantes Cedex 9, France
P. BRUNSCHWIG
Affiliation:
UMT RIEL, Domaine de la Prise, 35590 St-Gilles, France Institut de l'Elevage, UP CATL 9 Rue André Brouard, BP 70510, 49105 Angers Cedex 02, France
Corresponding

Summary

Despite practical information and applied results from numerous experimental studies and/or field observations, there is a persistent gap between scientific recommendations and on-farm reality. There are numerous published reports on the impact of dairy heifer herd management conditions on short-term, medium-term and long-term performances, but few studies on actual dairy heifer herd management practices – particularly in France. In an attempt to address this shortfall, a survey was conducted in 2010 on 449 herds located in the second largest dairy production region, the Pays de la Loire region (Western France). Economic-related aspects of heifer farming were not addressed. The essentially qualitative survey information was collected by 107 independent agricultural technologists. A quantitative analysis based on a small set of the most representative key production criteria was also conducted on a representative sub-sample of 286 herds. Mean herd size, at 46·6 cows per farm, and milk production, at 7953 kg milk/cow/lactation, were close to French national averages (47·3 cows per farm and 8109 kg milk/cow/lactation). The survey covered nine core themes and confirmed an all-round lack of precise monitoring on animal growth, as reported in earlier studies performed outside France. Most of the farmers surveyed considered animal weight a useful indicator for estimating growth performance. However, very few actually weighed their animals, despite the fact that 0·80 of the farmers surveyed aimed to calve their heifers before 30 months of age, with 0·55 of them setting a minimum calving weight target of at least 610 kg. Mean calf age at weaning was 2·9 months, but in practice this was >3·5 months in 0·31 of cases. Although farmers differ on certain practices, common core foci emerged: weight or age targets for pre-determined growth and development stages (at weaning or at service), recycling non-marketable milk for feeding young calves, essentially visual oestrus detection methods, and others. Based on the farmers’ declarations, the estimated time spent rearing a heifer from birth to calving ranges from 12 to 15 h per animal, with most farmers spending an estimated 0–2 h/day rearing their heifers. While almost two-thirds of farmers stated that rearing heifers was a necessity, 0·36 of this survey population claimed they enjoyed the work, whereas 0·02 of the farmers felt the work was purely a chore. Mirroring the conclusions from other countries, dairy heifer herd performances could be improved through better animal monitoring and management.

Type
Animal Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Cer-Poitou-Charentes (2005). Production Bovine Laitière en Poitou-Charentes: à la Croisée des Chemins. La Crèche, France: CER FRANCE Poitou-Charentes.Google Scholar
Cournut, S. (2001). Le fonctionnement des systèmes biologiques pilotés: simulations à événements discrets d'un troupeau ovin conduit en trois agnelages en deux ans. Ph.D. Thesis, Université Lyon I Université Claude Bernard.Google Scholar
Cniel (2011). L’économie Laitière en Chiffres, Édition 2011. Paris, France: CNIEL.Google Scholar
Dockès, A. C., Godefroy, C., Fourdin, S. & Frappat, B. (2012). Guide du technicien d'OPAV pour la validation de l'adhésion de l'éleveur à la Charte des Bonnes Pratiques d'Elevage – Version 2012. Bien être et sécurité. Paris, France, 138: Institut de l'Elevage edt.Google Scholar
EFSA (2006). Opinion on ‘The risks of poor welfare in intensive calf farming systems. An update of the Scientific Veterinary Committee Report on the Welfare of Calves’. AFSA Journal 366, 136.Google Scholar
Flower, F. C. & Weary, D. M. (2001). Effects of early separation on the dairy cow and calf: 2. Separation at 1 day and 2 weeks after birth. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 70, 275284.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Franklin, S. T., Amaral-Phillips, D. M., Jackson, J. A. & Campbell, A. A. (2003). Health and performances of Holstein calves that suckled or were hand-fed colostrum and fed one of three physical forms of starter. Journal of Dairy Science 86, 21452156.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Grimard, B., Humblot, P., Ponter, A. A., Chastant, S., Constant, F. & Mialot, J. P. (2003). Efficacité des traitements de synchronisation des chaleurs chez les bovins. INRA Productions Animales 16, 211227.Google Scholar
Hänninen, L., Hepola, H., Raussi, S. & Saloniemi, H. (2008). Effect of colostrum feeding method and presence of dam on the sleep, rest and suckling behaviour of newborn calves. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 112, 213222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hénot, A. Y. (2006). Cheptel laitier: renouvellement du troupeau, des éléments pour réduire le coût. Paysan Breton, Semaine du 3–10 Février, Article No. 5840.Google Scholar
Hultgren, J., Svensson, C. & Persson, M. (2011). Rearing conditions and lifetime milk revenues in Swedish dairy cows. Livestock Science 137, 108115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Institut De L'elevage (2010). Résultats du Contrôle Laitier 2009 – Espèce Bovine. Paris, France: Institut de L'Elevage.Google Scholar
Le Cozler, Y., Gallard, Y., Dessauge, F., Peccatte, J. R., Trommenschlager, J. M. & Delaby, L. (2011). Performance and longevity of dairy heifers born during winter 1 (W1) and reared according to three growth profiles during winter 2 (W2) in a strategy based on first calving at 36 months of age. Livestock Science 137, 244254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Cozler, Y., Lollivier, V., Lacasse, P. & Disenhaus, C. (2008). Rearing strategy and optimizing first calving targets in dairy heifers: a review. Animal 2, 13931404.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Le Cozler, Y., Peccatte, J. R. & Delaby, L. (2010). A comparative study of three growth profiles during rearing in dairy heifers: effect of feeding intensity during two successive winters on performances and longevity. Livestock Science 127, 238247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Cozler, Y., Peccatte, J. R., Porhiel, J. Y., Brunschwig, P. & Disenhaus, C. (2009). Pratiques d’élevages et performances des génisses laitières: état des connaissances et perspectives. INRA Productions Animales 22, 303316.Google Scholar
Le Maignan, G., Blourde, M., Moret, E., Labzae, P., Amprou, P. Y., Goscianski, C. & Souday, E. (2007). La Filière Laitière des Pays de la Loire: Etat des Lieux et Enjeux (Septembre 2007). Angers, France: Chambres d'Agriculture des Pays de la Loire, CILOUEST et GIE Elevage des Pays de la Loire. Available from: http://www.agrilianet.com/publications/detail-publication/actualite//la-filiere-laitiere-des-pays-de-la-loire-etat-des-lieux-et-enjeux-synthese.html (verified 21 December 2011).Google Scholar
Malher, X., Beaudeau, F., Poupin, B., Falaise, G. & Losdat, J. (1999). Réforme et renouvellement dans les grands troupeaux laitiers caprins de l'Ouest de la France. INRA Productions Animales 12, 123133.Google Scholar
Mourits, M. C. M., Dijkhuizen, A. A., Hiurne, R. B. M. & Galligan, D. T. (1997). Technical and economic models to support heifer management decisions: basic concepts. Journal of Dairy Science 80, 14061415.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mourits, M. C. M., Van Der Fels-Klerx, H. J., Huirne, R. B. M. & Huyben, M. W. C. (2000). Dairy-heifer management in the Netherlands. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 46, 197208.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nor, N. M., Steenveld, W. & Hogeveen, H. (2010). Estimating the youngstock rearing costs in The Netherlands using Monte-Carlo simulation. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Farm Animal Health Economics, 14–15 January, Nantes, France (Eds National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering (ONIRIS)), pp. 2126. Nantes, France: ONIRIS.Google Scholar
Perrot, C. & Chatellier, V. (2009). Evolution structurelle et économique des exploitations laitières du nord de l'Union européenne de 1990 à 2005: des trajectoires contrastées. Fourrages 197, 2446.Google Scholar
Pettersson, K., Svensson, C. & Liberg, P. (2001). Housing, feeding and management of calves and replacement heifers in Swedish dairy herds. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 42, 465478.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Porhiel, J. Y. (2002). Travail et génisses laitières: le temps passé dépend avant tout de l’éleveur. A la pointe de l’élevage 402, 810.Google Scholar
RECP (2010). Résultats 2008 et Estimations 2009 pour les Exploitations Bovins Lait. Synthèse Annuelle des Données des Réseaux d’Élevage. Collection Résultats Annuels. Paris, France: Institut de l'Elevage.Google Scholar
Rehben, E., Balvay, B., Bereziat, A., Bertrand, C., Boulesteix, I., Champy, R., Dos, C., Fusai, B., Le Gal, H., Marguin, L. & Poisnel, E. (2005). Report of the new French information system for cattle breeding. Rencontres Recherches Ruminants 12, 339342.Google Scholar
Seegers, H., Beaudeau, F., Fourichon, C. & Bareille, N. (1998). Reasons for culling in French Holstein dairy cows. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 36, 257271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stafford, K. J. & Mellor, D. J. (2005). Dehorning and disbudding distress and its alleviation in calves. Veterinary Journal 169, 337349.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Standing Committee of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes (1988). Recommendation Concerning Cattle Adopted by the Standing Committee on 21 October 1988. Strasbourg, France: Council of Europe. Available from: http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/legal_co-operation/biological_safety_and_use_of_animals/farming/rec20cattle20e.asp#P266_15468 (verified 10 January 2012).Google Scholar
Svensson, C., Lundborg, K., Emanuelson, U. & Olsson, O. (2003). Morbidity in Swedish dairy calves from birth to 90 days of age and individual calf-level risk factors for infectious diseases. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 58, 179197.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Troccon, J. L. (1984). Lait entier et colostrum pour les veaux d’élevage. Bulletin Technique du CRZV, Theix, INRA 57, 5760.Google Scholar
USDA (2008). Dairy 2007, Part I: Reference of Dairy Cattle Health and Health Management Practices in the United States, 2007. Fort Collins, CO: USDA, National Animal Health Monitoring System.Google Scholar
Vasseur, E. (2006). Premier portrait québécois des conditions d’élevage et du bien-être des génisses avant sevrage. In 30 Symposium sur les Bovins Laitiers, CRAAQ, 7 Décembre 2006 (Eds Pellerin, D., Rushen, J., de Pasillé, A.-M., Cue, R. & Lefebvre, D.), pp. 122. Quebec: CRAAQ.Google Scholar
Vasseur, E., Borderas, F., Cue, R. I., Levebvre, D., Pellerin, D., Rushen, J., Wade, K. M. & De PASILLé, A. M. (2010). A survey of dairy calf management practices in Canada that affect animal welfare. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 13071315.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Venables, W. N., Smith, D. M. & The R Development Core Team (2010). An Introduction to R. Notes on R: Programming Environment for Data Analysis and Graphics. Vienna, Austria: R Development Core Team.Google Scholar
Weaver, D. M., Tyler, J. W., Vanmetre, D. C., Hostetler, D. E. & Barrington, G. M. (2000). Passive transfer of colostral immunoglobulins in calves. Journal of Veterinary of Internal Medicine 14, 569577.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Windsor, P. A. & Whittington, R. J. (2010). Evidence for age susceptibility of cattle to Johne's disease. Veterinary Journal 184, 3744.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

A survey on dairy heifer farm management practices in a Western-European plainland, the French Pays de la Loire region
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

A survey on dairy heifer farm management practices in a Western-European plainland, the French Pays de la Loire region
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

A survey on dairy heifer farm management practices in a Western-European plainland, the French Pays de la Loire region
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *