Effect of Pair Housing Versus Individual and Group Housing on Behavioural Patterns of Buffalo Calves
Keywords:Buffalo Behaviour Housing System
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of pair housing versus individual and group housing on behavioural patterns of female buffalo calves (n = 18; 15.0±3.0 days of age) were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 treatments of group housing with (C1=one calf/pen, C2=two calves/pen, or C3= three calves/pen) supplying a total pen space allowance of 1.82 m2 /calf, regardless of pen size. Behaviour was recorded by direct observation throughout the day from 10:00 to 14:00 clock, during a single day each week for 12 weeks using scan sampling every 15 min within 4 hours’ observation sessions. Calves housed in C2 group showed more (P ≤ 0.05) eating and drinking, chewing/ruminating, object manipulation and self grooming, lying activities, and less (P < 0.05) inactivity and standing when compared to calves housed in C1 and C3 groups. In conclusion, raising buffalo calves in paired housing system provided calves more opportunity to express their comfort, grooming, and feeding activities compared to individual and group housing system, however further investigation is still required to study the effect of paired housing system on the performance and physiological indicators in buffalo calves.
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