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Bühlen, Franziska; Ivemeyer, Silvia; Krutzinna, Christian and Knierim, Ute (2014) COMPATIBILITY OF AUTOMATIC MILKING SYSTEMS WITH ANIMAL WELFARE IN ORGANIC DAIRY FARMING. In: Rahmann, G. and Aksoy, U. (Eds.) Building Organic Bridges, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany, 2, Thuenen Report, no. 20, pp. 509-512.

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The distribution of automatic milking systems (AMS) on dairy farms has increased significantly worldwide since the last millennium. For organic farms in Germay, the use of this technique is increasingly interesting, as organic dairy farms often have herd sizes between 50 and 150 cows which suit best for automatic milking systems. The implementation of AMS does not only bring along changes in terms of the milking process, but also affects the entire housing system, management and feeding. AMS is often connected with a restriction of pasturing and indirectly the risk of lame cows may increase.
The aim of this study was to clarify whether the use of AMS is compatible with animal welfare in organic dairy farming, paying particular attention to impacts on pasture use.
In an online survey, 42 organic dairy farmers with AMS have been asked for their feeding and pasture system before and after AMS implementation on their farms. The results of the survey showed that the herd size had partially grown significantly since the introduction of the AMS. The herd growth led to a significant decrease in the average grazing area per cow on the farms with pasture use. In addition, total area used as pasture decreased on the majority of the farms. Some farms had even completely ceased pasture use.
Summarized, the impact of the AMS on animal welfare depends significantly on the housing conditions and the management of the farmers. In organic dairy farming, impairments of animal health and welfare by AMS have to be avoided. Especially the implementation of AMS should not be connected with ceasing grazing for cattle.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Feeding and growth
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Scientific Track: 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference
Germany > University of Kassel
Deposited By: Ivemeyer, Dr. Silvia
ID Code:24057
Deposited On:31 Oct 2014 09:38
Last Modified:31 Oct 2014 09:38
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:urn:nbn:de:gbv:253-201407-dn053621-1

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