Methodological terminology and definitions for research and discussion of cow-calf contact systems

Janja Sirovnik*, Kerstin Barth, Daiana de Oliveira, Sabine Ferneborg, MJ Haskell, Edna Hillman, Margit Bak Jensen, Cecilie Mejdell, Fabio Napolitano, Mette Vaarst, Cynthia Verwer, Susanne Waiblinger, Katharina Zipp, Norwegian Vet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Due to increasing public concern regarding separation of the dairy cow and calf within the first days after birth, alternative systems, where cows and calves stay in contact for an extended period, are receiving increasing interest from a broad array of researchers and other stakeholders. With more research in the area, there is a risk of inconsistencies emerging in the use of terminology. To create a better consensus in further discussions, the aim of this Research Reflection is to provide definitions and propose a common terminology for cow-calf contact in dairy production. We also suggest definitions for various systems allowing cow-calf contact and describe the distinct phases of cow-calf contact systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dairy Research
Issue numberS1
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Aug 2020


  • Animal welfare
  • dairy cattle
  • dairy suckling systems
  • dam rearing
  • foster cow


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