A review of the impact of housing on dairy cow behaviour, health and welfare

Phillips, C. J. C., Beerda, B., Knierim, U., Waiblinger, S., Lidfors, L., Krohn, C. C., Canali, E., Valk, H., Veissier, I. and Hopster, H. (2013). A review of the impact of housing on dairy cow behaviour, health and welfare. In Andres Aland and Thomas Banhazi (Ed.), Livestock Housing: Modern Management to Ensure Optimal Health and Welfare of Farm Animals (pp. 37-54) Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers. doi:10.3920/978-90-8686-771-4_02

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Author Phillips, C. J. C.
Beerda, B.
Knierim, U.
Waiblinger, S.
Lidfors, L.
Krohn, C. C.
Canali, E.
Valk, H.
Veissier, I.
Hopster, H.
Title of chapter A review of the impact of housing on dairy cow behaviour, health and welfare
Title of book Livestock Housing: Modern Management to Ensure Optimal Health and Welfare of Farm Animals
Place of Publication Wageningen, The Netherlands
Publisher Wageningen Academic Publishers
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.3920/978-90-8686-771-4_02
Open Access Status
Year available 2013
ISBN 9789086867714
9789086862177
9086862179
Editor Andres Aland
Thomas Banhazi
Chapter number 2
Start page 37
End page 54
Total pages 18
Total chapters 25
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Housing dairy cows offers the possibility to control many aspects of their lives, including accurate rationing, which is especially important for high yielding cows, and rapid health care. In addition, some parasitic diseases are largely controlled by removing cows from pasture. However, housing cows is associated with an increased prevalence of several serious diseases, e.g. mastitis and lameness. In housing systems cows can less readily synchronise their behaviour with other cows, maintain adequate personal space and express oestrus behaviour, compared to cows at pasture. Soft ground and space at pasture facilitate natural locomotion, lying down/standing up motions and resting, without the behavioural abnormalities that may occur inside cubicle houses. Although an inability to perform natural behaviour often impairs health and welfare in housed cows, this is not always the case, and so the precise welfare implications of housing with regards to some of the different types of (natural) behaviour remain tentative. The present findings suggest that dairy cow production based on intensively housed cows is less desirable from the perspective of animal behaviour and health, and hence welfare. However, increasingly larger and more productive dairy herds are utilising intensive housing systems because they facilitate mechanised management systems and a reduction in labour requirements, and the negative implications for welfare are worthy of detailed consideration.
Keyword Buildings
Cattle
Dairy farming systems
Grazing
Housing
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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