In an on-farm experiment three calf rearing methods were compared: bucket feeding of milk replacer, bucket feeding of tank milk and suckling of mother or nurse cow up to three months of age. Aim was to determine whether the technical results of suckling systems in calf rearing were satisfactory. Calves reared in a suckling system reached significantly higher liveweights at weaning (90 days). Although the average growth rate between weaning and the age of 1 year did not differ significantly, liveweight at 1 year did still differ significantly. Compared to both bucket fed rearing groups, suckling did not have a significant effect on Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of mothers. Suckling systems in calf rearing in organic dairy production show satisfactory technical results."
Calves have the potential to grow fast and no negative effect of suckling on SCC or general animal health were observed.