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Effects of feeding management and time of day on the occurrence of self-suckling in dairy goats
  1. J. Martínez-de la Puente, PhD,
  2. I. Moreno-Indias, MSc,
  3. A. Morales-Delanuez, DVM,
  4. M. D. Ruiz-Díaz, DVM, MSc,
  5. L. E. Hernández-Castellano, DVM, MSc,
  6. N. Castro, DVM, PhD and
  7. A. Argüello, DVM, PhD
  1. Animal Science Department, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Transmontaña s/n, Campus Universitario de Arucas, 35413 Arucas, Spain
  1. E-mail for correspondence jmartinez{at}

The occurrence of self-suckling was recorded in 21 dairy goats during periods of 20 minutes at three different times per day (immediately after milking and the first feed, immediately after the second feed and in the afternoon) for 27 days (divided into three experimental periods of nine days). As expected, negative associations between milk yield and the frequency of self-suckling were observed (P<0.05). Goats suckled on their own right teat more frequently than on the left teat. The width of the right teat (measured at the middle of the teat) was positively associated with the frequency of self-suckling after controlling for the width of the left teat. A higher self-suckling frequency was observed immediately after milking than in the other two periods of the day. The frequency of self-suckling by each goat was reduced when animals were supplemented ad libitum with wheat straw in addition to their ordinary feed.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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