Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wellness for dairy cows

08.03.2012
Does butter taste better when the cows are happy? How much is too much for a liter of milk? What will dairy cows of the future look like? What does a glass of milk have to do with environmental protection? Will cows be pastured in future, too?
These are some of the questions that the new Center of Integrated Dairy Research (Zentrum für Integrierte Milchwirtschaftliche Forschung) or "CIDRe" for short is looking to answer. Scientists from a wide range of disciplines are working in this recently established center at the University of Bonn for the benefit of a balanced and sustainable dairy industry.

For more than 10,000 years, humans have been using cows for obtaining milk and meat, as providers of fertilizer, and as draft animals. During cold periods, humans used the animals' skins or their leather for protection. In short, cattle helped humans survive under adverse conditions. The production conditions have, however, changed drastically over time. Originally, cows gave about eight liters of milk a day to feed a calf. Modern high-performance cows produce 50 liters a day now, sometimes at a dramatic price. "The dairy industry system has been off balance for quite some time," said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Büscher, Speaker of the new Zentrum für Integrierte Milchwirtschaftliche Forschung at the University of Bonn (CIDRe).

Extreme increase in milk production results in problems

Due to the extreme increase in milk production, cows often need signi¬¬fi¬cantly more energy during the first 100 days after calving than they can take in with their feed. "This imbalance can result in fat and muscle wasting as well as metabolic diseases," said veterinary Dr. Susanne Plattes, CIDRe Coordinator. High-performance cows are more susceptible to fertility problems or hoof and udder infections. Dr. Plattes explained further, "The animals' wellness is becoming the focus for ethical and eco¬n¬omic reasons. If more species-appropriate animal husbandry results in better products, the economic advantages will also be obvious."
Environmental consequences

The environmental effects of modern milk production are also tangible. Gases that further stoke global climate change can escape from dairy cows' stomachs. Consequently, the central question the researchers involved with the CIDRe, who come from Agricultural Science, IT, Physics, Veterinary Medicine, Economics and Social Sciences, are seeking to answer is how the complex dairy industry system can be brought into balance. In addition to mere milk production, both the health and wellness of the animals, as well as the protection of the environment should be taken into account. Related to this are socioeconomic questions; such as, how highly - in terms of price - consumers value a sustainable dairy industry.

Unique research project at the Frankenforst research station

First, however, lots of data must be collected in order to be able to optimize the dairy industry system also with regard to animal wellness and environmental protection. Here, the Frankenforst research station of the University of Bonn plays a central role in this research area. "It is the only one of its kind in Germany and allows research at the highest level," said Prof. Büscher. So for example, a host of sensors captures how much feed a cow eats and how much she moves. Water intake, milk flow and ingredients as well as heart frequency are among the parameters that are recorded digitally, based on which the scientists can determine how each individual cow is doing. The animals' behavior is analyzed in cooperation with the University of Halle-Wittenberg.

Comprehensive measured data for a simulation model
The scientists want to capture the dairy industry system as completely as possible and then develop models from their results. "This will allow us to answer several critical questions," said Dr. Plattes. "Such as solutions for the trade-off between more freedom to move and the related increase in ammonia and odor emissions." In addition, the scientists are interested in finding out whether there is an increased health risk an increased health risk for cows with high milk production. But economic issues are also studied, such as the difference in dairy animal husbandry profitability on field versus pasture locations.
Support for young scholars

"Over the past years, interdisciplinary cooperation in diary industry research at the Agricultural Faculty has been intensified greatly," said the Dean, Prof. Dr. Karl Schellander. "CIDRe will focus the strengths of the participants involved in this research focus, intensify interdisciplinary research and contribute to increasing its visibility here and abroad." Another focus of the Center is supporting young scholars - among others, by means of the Theodor-Brinkmann Graduate School that offers both the Faculty's Master courses of study as well as its structured doctoral studies, all under one roof. In addition, the CIDRe is scheduled to offer an interdisciplinary Summer School.

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Büscher (Speaker)
CIDRe (Center of Integrated Dairy Research)
Ph.: +49 228-732 396
Email: buescher@uni-bonn.de

Dr. med. vet. Susanne Plattes (Coordinator)
CIDRe (Center of Integrated Dairy Research)
Ph.: +49 228-739 418 or +49 6552-600 9915
Email: cidre@uni-bonn.de

Johannes Seiler | idw
Further information:
http://www.cidre.uni-bonn.de/
http://www3.uni-bonn.de/Pressemitteilungen/058-2012

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>