Public concern on welfare of dairy calves remains low in Sri Lanka. Therefore, a survey was conducted to assess the welfare issues of dairy calf management practices in120 small scale dairy farms (herd size 7.85 ± 3.25: Mean ± SD) in Ratnapura district, Sri Lanka. Farmers were selected by using multistage random sampling technique and data collection was performed by the interview with the farmer using a questionnaire. Analysis was based on descriptive statistics. In 84% of farms, separate calving pen was absent. Cows were not provided bedding materials during calving in 22% of farms. In 16% of farms, disinfection of the new born’s navel was not practiced. All the farmers did not concern on colostrum quality, quantity and quickness of feeding. In 53% of farms, calf sheds were in poor condition (slippery floors- 13%, floor with obstacles- 53%, no side walls- 63%, poor condition of roof- 20%, no drainage facilities- 47%). However, 5% of farmers did not provide shelters for calves. Use of sick pen and provision of exercise yard were not in practiced in all the surveyed farms. In addition, in 44% of farms, calves were not provided grazing or any other exercises. Results indicated that 11% of the farmers did not treat calves for wounds or cuts. Furthermore, 9% of the farmers did not practice deworming and 92% of the farmers did not treat for external parasites. All the farmers did not concern about the quantity and quality of the feeding materials. Disbudding was practiced in 11% of farms without pain relief techniques. In overall, results reveal that there are issues in management practices that need intervention strategies to improve the welfare of dairy calves in the area.
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