Effects of group-rearing or partial isolation on later social behaviour of calves


Calves were either isolated, spatially but not visually, or group-reared for eight months and then kept together. Rank orders based upon competitive interactions were similar at eight and 20 months. Almost all group-reared animals were higher in rank than all isolation-reared animals. The most frequent nearest neighbour associations were between group-reared animals especially those from the same rearing group. Also frequent at eight months were associations between calves which had been isolated in adjacent pens. Isolation-reared animals associated infrequently with group-reared animals and spent more time alone. Body weight was not correlated with rearing conditions or with behavioural measures. Increase, or decrease, in rank between eight and 20 months was associated with faster, or slower, than average weight gain. © 1978.