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Behaviour of dairy cows on organic and non-organic farms

Langford, F; Rutherford, K; Sherwood, L; Jack, M and Haskell, M (2006) Behaviour of dairy cows on organic and non-organic farms. In: Atkinson, C; Ball, B; Davies, D H K; Rees, R; Russell, G; Stockdale, E A; Watson, C A; Walker, R and Younie, D (Eds.) Aspects of Applied Biology 79, What will organic farming deliver? COR 2006, Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 39-42.

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Summary

There is an increasing number of organic dairy farms in the UK. The aim of this study is to compare behaviour of dairy cows on organic and non-organic farms. Twenty organic and 20 non-organic farms throughout the UK were visited over two winters (2004/05 and 2005/06). Organic and non-organic farms were paired for housing type, herd size, milk production traits and location. The number of cows feeding was counted every fifteen minutes for 4.5 h after new feed was available post morning milking. Behaviour at the feed-face was recorded for 60 minutes and aggressive interactions between cows were quantified. Farm type had no effect on numbers of cows feeding. There were more interactions between cows feeding at open feed-faces compared to head-bale barriers. At open feed-faces, there were more interactions on organic farms than non-organic. It is possible that organic cows were hungrier than non-organic cows after the arrival of new feed.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic farming, animal welfare, behaviour, dairy cows
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Research affiliation: UK > Scottish Agricultural College (SAC)
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10165
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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