behavioral disorders

behavioral disorders

What causes behavioral disorders such as self sucking in young cows and what are the consequences


In some modern farms, calves are separated from their mothers immediately after birth and no communication is established between them. As you know, natural breastfeeding is an important behavior for both mothers and children.

Research shows that what has a positive effect on heifers’ behavior is staying in touch with the mother for the first 12 weeks, even if only for a limited time.

Most calves that are weaned immediately after weaning and feed on the bucket exhibit abnormal oral behaviors when the cows are young, including the following:

  1. Self grooming,
  2. Tongue plating
  3. cross sucking and tongue rolling

If this separation is also done on your farm, you have probably witnessed these behavioral abnormalities during their lactation, especially when the young cows are waiting in the milking parlor!

Did you know that virtually every dairy cow with this behavioral disorder consumes at least 32% of their milk daily?

Seeing a scene of a cow sucking on a breast and drinking its own milk or that of another is an alarm that warns of many complications and problems, including the following:
Loss of milk (sometimes up to 40 or 60 liters of milk per day)
Nipple injuries,
Defects in their shape and appearance
Serious problems with mastitis

In fact, when a cow feeds on the milk of a cow with mastitis and subsequently starts sucking on the breasts of other cows, the risk of transmitting mastitis also increases.

Sometimes this disorder occurs in the last third of pregnancy, which causes the early formation of colostrum or colostrum, so the calf that is born is deprived of colostrum. In most cases, this problem is common among heifers.

Is there a cure for self sucking in young cows


To reduce this behavior, you can use nipple buckets, simple pacifier bottles or automatic type. To somehow satisfy the calves emotionally

Weaned calves should have access to a diet that meets all energy needs.

It is also recommended to use a prickly nose ring to avoid this behavior by causing pain while sucking your breast or other herd cows.
Some bitter substances can also be used on the nipples.
Also, to prevent this behavior, breastfeeding the infant should be done regularly and regularly, and the herd density should be reduced, and if this behavior continues despite management measures, it should be removed from the herd.
It is recommended to use an opening and a bridle, an Elizabeth necklace, a neck cradle so that wooden handles are tied around the neck and neck movements are restricted.

behavioral disorders
self sucking in young cows


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