Geburtsverhalten und Kälberaufzucht beim Bison (Bison bison) in landwirtschaftlicher Haltung

Translated title of the contribution: Parturient behaviour and raising of calves in bison (Bison bison) kept on farms

T. Haßpacher, H. H. Sambraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The American Bison (Bison bison) is getting an increasing economical importance in Europe. Currently approx. 600 individuals of this species are kept on farms in Germany. There is little known if Bison can be kept species specific in Central Europe. In two bison herds with 52 respectively eight cows kept in Bavaria some behavioural aspects were examined, especially the calving and suckling behaviour. The behavioural observations were carried out during a period from spring to autumn, some days per week and each day from dawn till dusk. The calving lasted averagely 2 h (n Combining double low line 19). 11 cows stood up within 1 min p.p.. The calves could stand after 20 min on average and had found the udder within half an hour p.p.. The number of suckling acts decreased from 1,7 per hour from the day of birth to as little as 0,2 times per hour in the 7th month. The duration of an individual suckling process increased to an average of 6 min in week 5 to 6 and then decreased to 4 min averagely in the 7th month. As bisons are still underlying a natural reproduction rhythm (calving almost only from May to July) damage to the calves as a result of unfavourable climatic conditions is not to be expected. The bison behaviour observed agreed mainly with that described in the literature for bison living in North America, despite smaller paddocks, more intense management and different ecosystems. Concerning the studied aspects, there is nothing that tells against keeping these animals, which originally come from another continent, under the described keeping conditions in Germany.

Translated title of the contributionParturient behaviour and raising of calves in bison (Bison bison) kept on farms
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages17
JournalArchives Animal Breeding
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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