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Study of changes in the strength of connection between grey cattle cows and their offspring after weaning
Published June 1, 2021

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 F...oundation, 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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Changes in the relationship between Hungarian Grey cows (Bos primigenius taurus hungaricus) and their calves in the period from calving to four months of age
Published May 26, 2022

The ability of cows to care for their offsprings is a very important trait concerning beef cattle. Maternal instincts are highly influenced by breed, specific cow, and social and rearing environment. In 2020, at the Szamárháti farm of the Tiszatáj Public Foundation, we selected 15 dam-calf pairs and studied them for four months from the ...birth of the calves. We grouped calf-rearing behaviors according to strength and analyzed the related changes during the program. At the beginning of the relationship, "standing close to each other" (53%) and "suckling" (24%) characterized the pairs. After the first month, "standing or lying separated" grew by 69%, and "vocalization" by both animals fell by 66%. Even though the daily frequency of suckling decreased by 34% as the calves grew older, it remained a typical element of the relationship. Over time, the bond between the animals gradually weakened. This natural process of separation takes a month to complete.

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