Housing dairy heifers in pairs for a week before introducing them to the resident group can promote improved association between heifer and the group.

According to Niamh O’Connell of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Hillsborough, these heifers also appeared to show more synchronised lying behaviour in the immediates post mixing period and increased activity in the first month after calving. “These factors may reflect reduced fearfulness,” she told delegates.