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 Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>