There is no perfect solution to prevent cross-suckling among dairy calves. But prevention is needed: cross-suckling can lead to inter-suckling (sucking the udders of heifers and cows), which can have alarming consequences like udder damage, mastitis, and milk loss.
Luckily, with a few feeding measures and toys, it’s possible to substantially reduce the risk.
German CowSignals® master trainer Wolfgang Müller says: "our little ones are very happy to play with toys that are originally meant to prevent boredom in pigs. Calves also like to pull out individual straws from hay nets (commonly used in horse stables), that are hung in an over-head position - otherwise the ear tags are in danger.
And especially the toy propellors are in very high demand!
Have you come across cross-suckling? What was your solution? Please share your experience with our community in the comments, or send us your story at email@example.com
Want to know more about calf rearing? Our Youngstock Signals video course offers many practical tips and trick to optimize youngstock rearing and give calves the best possible start.