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Developing robust and economically viable models for cow-calf suckling in organic dairy systems, fulfilling high standards for animal health, welfare and ethics

{Project} COWCALF: Developing robust and economically viable models for cow-calf suckling in organic dairy systems, fulfilling high standards for animal health, welfare and ethics. Runs 2009 - 2013. Project Leader(s): Grøndahl, Researcher Ann Margaret , National Veterinary Institute, Norway .

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PDF - Norwegian/Norsk
[thumbnail of ku-kalv_prosjektet_short_description_April_2009.doc] Microsoft Word - English


The purpose of the project is to develop the design elements required for a good organic rearing system for calves 0-12 weeks of age, with special reference to concepts of naturalness, animal health, welfare and ethics, robustness and economic viability.
The project has 5 subgoals: 1) Evaluate practical solutions, health and welfare and economic performance of 20 dairy farms in each of the three countries Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway. The aim is to survey weaknesses and strengths in systems developed by farmers, and describe how problems have been solved in practice, and to document farmer experience and knowledge, to study how they have solved problems and examine how methods can be refined. 2) Analyze what the philosophy of organic farming implies for the design of an “ideal” rearing system for organic calves. 3) Study how consumers value different production methods, and what they are willing to pay a premium for. Farmer perceptions of some of the same issues will also be studied, and compared to consumer expectations. 4) Evaluate how cows benefit from prolonged contact and nursing of the calf. 5) Evaluate how various separation and weaning procedures affect calf health and welfare.
Based on experiences gained from the field study and the literature, a study is planned to test separation practices in a controlled study in Canada.
The National Veterinary Institute is head of the project which is performed in cooperation with the National Institute for Consumer Research in Norway, Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, British Colombia University in Canada, Louis Bolk Institute in Nederland and Norwegian School of Veterinary Science.
The project is financed by Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL) and Agricultural Agreement Research Fund (JA) through Norwegian Research Council in Norway, and is running for four years (01.09.2009 – 31.08.2013).

EPrint Type:Project description
Keywords:COWCALF, cow, calf, welfare, suckling systems
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Norway > NILF - Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute
Norway > NVH - Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Norway > NVI - National Veterinary Institute
Norway > Consumption Research Norway – SIFO
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
Sweden > University of Lund
Research funders: Netherlands > Louis Bolk Institute
Project ID:190424 Cow-calf project
Start Date:1 September 2009
End Date:31 August 2013
Deposited By: Grøndahl, Researcher Ann Margaret
ID Code:17128
Deposited On:28 May 2010 06:27
Last Modified:04 Jul 2011 12:57

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