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Research

Behavioural, physiological and production effects of dairy cow-calf rearing systems

Abstract

Through interviews with dairy farmers across the UK, and on-farm research, this project aims to explore cow-calf rearing system, to improve welfare on farm.

Description

Public concern about separating the dairy cow and calf immediately after birth is increasing. However, despite a need for more natural rearing systems, on-farm it is not always practical for the farmer to allow the cow and calf to remain together for long periods following birth. Through semi-structured interviews with dairy farmers across the UK, this study aims to investigate the benefits and challenges of cow-calf rearing systems vs. conventional systems (separating the cow and calf shortly after birth). On-farm trials will explore cow-calf rearing systems; to better understand cow-calf physiology, behaviour and performance and to improve cow-calf welfare on farm.

 

Funding Body

Devenish Nutrition and Silcock Fellowship for Livestock Research

Lead Organisation

Harper Adams University

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