Factors that affect calf standing time

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A trial conducted by a research team led by Mark Hill at Provimi North America, Brookville, Ohio, recently examined whether or not certain conditions caused calves to stand for longer periods of time. Published in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, the 40-calf study included the following parameters:

  • Forty wet calves were evaluated from the first week of life to 56 days, with weaning at 42 days of age.
  • Ten calves were evaluated in each of four seasons – summer, fall, winter and spring.
  • All calves were housed in individual pens inside a barn with curtained sidewalls and no additional heat.
  • All calves were fed the same starter and milk replacer diet, with milk replacer fed at twice-per-day intervals.
  •  Standing and lying behavior was monitored and recorded at five-minute intervals via an electronic data logger attached to each calf’s right rear leg.

The researchers found that:

  • Standing time did not differ significantly in different seasons of the year.
  • Standing time was greatest during morning and evening feedings; intermediate during midday and evening; and least at night.
  • Average standing time was 300 minutes per day, and increased by approximately half a minute per day as calves aged.


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