No. 1 (2021)

Study of changes in the strength of connection between grey cattle cows and their offspring after weaning

Published June 1, 2021
Ádám Lenner
Doktor School of Animal Science
Péter Ragán
University of Debrecen, Doctoral School of Animal Science
István Komlósi
University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, Department of Animal Husbandry, Debrecen


Lenner, Ádám, Ragán, P., & Komlósi, I. (2021). Study of changes in the strength of connection between grey cattle cows and their offspring after weaning. Acta Agraria Debreceniensis, (1), 129–136.

It is important to minimize stress for cattle because of animal welfare and profitability. This study aims to reveal how long after abrupt weaning the cow and her offspring show a need to rebuild the connection if physical barriers are removed and distances disappear. The research was carried out on Szamárhát Farm owned by the Tiszatáj Foundation, Hungary. In the autumn of 2019, thirty-one calves were weaned, randomly selected from 81 grey cattle cows’ offspring. The oldest calf was 10 months old, while the youngest one was 6 months old on the day of weaning. They were divided into three groups and reunited with the cows during the first, third, and fifth weeks after weaning. Each reunion happened in the early afternoon and the cow and her offspring spent 24 hours together again. The formation and the strength of the connection were recorded for an hour three times during this period, first in the afternoon, then in the morning, and the next afternoon. It can be seen that both parties showed the need to form the connection during the first week after weaning because the bond made between them was obvious in a short time. The connections proved to be strong. However, neither the cows nor their offsprings showed any intention to form strong connections in the third and fifth weeks. In the majority of the cases, no connection was formed. 


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