Animal health and welfare

Initially, the work will mainly focus on dairy cows. Indeed, the partners have a large amount of data collected on dairy farms as a basis for their work: health data, milk quality data, spectral data from the analysis of milk samples, etc.

The optimum temperature for cattle is between -5 and 15°C. Heat periods are therefore particularly critical for heat stress management (drop in feed intake, performance degradation, health problems, animal welfare, etc.).

La température optimale pour les bovins se situe entre -5 et 15 °C. Les périodes de chaleurs sont donc particulièrement critiques pour la gestion du stress thermique (chute de la consommation d’aliment, dégradation des performances, apparition de  problèmes de santé, bien-être animal, etc).

Les premiers travaux du groupe de travail se concentreront sur deux thématiques relatives à la gestion du stress thermique : l’adaptation et la construction des étables ainsi que l’alimentation.

The first work of the working group will focus on two issues related to heat stress management: adaptation and construction of stables and feeding.

In 2021, microclimatic data in 20 pilot farms (10 in Alsace and 10 in Baden) will be collected thanks to the installation of innovative measuring devices: the MobiMets (see photo below). Using the data collected and linked to health and performance data from these pilot farms, the working group will be able to work on the development of new indicators that could, for example, provide early detection of heat stress in dairy herds. In addition to the technical recommendations that will be developed, this would improve the management of heat stress in dairy farming.

The recommendations on the adaptation and construction of barns can be of benefit to other livestock sectors.

The partners involved in the working group:

  • Chambre d’agriculture Alsace (France)
  • Landesverband Baden-Württemberg für Leistungs- und Qualitätsprüfungen in der Tierzucht e.V.  (Germany)
  • AGRIDEA (Switzerland)
  • Service de l’économie rurale du Canton du Jura (Switzerland)
  • Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum Liebegg (Switzerland)

Group leader :

Elisa STRANG, Landesverband Baden-Württemberg