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 Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>