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

Harper Adams have a PhD position available on behavioural, physiological and production effects of dairy cow-calf rearing systems.

Background to the project:

Naturally, following parturition the calf would remain with the cow, nursing for many months and forming strong bonds with its mother and other cows and calves within the herd. In contrast, the dairy-bred calf may be removed from its dam within a few hours of birth and placed in individual or group housing and fed colostrum and milk artificially until weaning, whilst the cow re-enters the milking herd. Public concern about separating the cow and calk soon after birth is increasing. Therefore, more research is required to investigate possible cow-calf rearing systems which are attractive for farmers, the public and animals. The research will focus on the effects of rearing the cow and calf together to meet the needs of both the cow and the calf and provide an opportunity for them to experience a much closer and more natural relationship.

Aims and objectives:

The aim of this project is to explore cow-calf rearing systems to improve welfare on diary farms. The objectives are to determine whether there are any behavioural, physiological or production differences between different rearing systems and to investigate optimal strategies of separating the calf and the cow.

Closing date for applications is 7th March 2019.

Further information is available here.

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