Data on suckling behaviour in Tokara native goats were collected from six mother-kid pairs which were reared separately. Each pair was observed for suckling bouts (the duration of time during which kid pulled at or was in contact with the udder) and rejection of nursing (mother did not permit kid to suckle) from one week to nine weeks of age, and data were collected once every second week. The following results were obtained. There was a large reduction both in the suckling duration per bout and in the suckling duration per hour from the 1st to 3rd week. The rejection rate had a large increase from the 1st to 3rd week. There were large changes in them from the 1st to 3rd weeks. In the frequency of access to udder, there were reductions between the 1st to 3rd weeks and the 7th to 9th weeks and between the 1st to 5th weeks and the 9th week. It is suggested that the suckling period between the 1st and 7th weeks is a critical period for the relationship between mother and her offspring in Tokara native goats. For weaning, not only suckling behaviour but also rejection of nursing must be taken into account.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology