Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering


As a principal means of herd replacement and expansion, the dairy calf is vital to the success of a dairy enterprise. High mortality rates among dairy calves, frequently as high as twenty percent, are very costly to the dairyman. Besides paying the high cost of losing a calf, the dairyman must find a replacement for the animal. Obtaining a herd animal from outside sources involves the risk that the replacement may be of lower quality than was the lost calf. Through careful selection of animals and a well-planned breeding program, a good farm manager will find raising his own replacement stock represents one of the most economical systems of maintaining his herd and assuring the quality and production level necessary for a profitable operation. The greater the number of calves raised, the more extensive the herd culling program can be. Male calves are also valuable to the dairy enterprise. They are essential for breeding purposes. Many dairymen are raising male stock as beef feeders to provide added income for the enterprise. Calf mortality rates can be reduced with good management including proper housing. At the present time many dairymen neglect calf housing by keeping their calves in whatever structure is available. The animals suffer from lack of space, poor ventilation, damp living conditions, chilling drafts, and possibly poor feed rations. The lack of information regarding animal behavior can largely be attributed to a lack of a suitable method of studying the animals. Time-lapse photography provides the necessary means to monitor animals' actions for behavior studies. The use of time-lapse photography for domestic animal behavior studies is relatively unexplored. A suitable equipment system and photograph y technique could be invaluable in studies to determine the habits, movements, and characteristics of animals.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dairy barns



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University