Research Project Database
Code: 2.18.03
Title: Behavioural indicators of early heat stress in dairy cows in pasture-based systems in Switzerland
Country: Switzerland
Funding Organisation: Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
Animal Group:  
Research Organisation: Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
Number of Research Staff (FTE):  
Principal Investigator (PI):  
Cost (Euros): 189098
End Date (dd/mm/yyyy): 31-05-2021
Duration (months): 40
Project objectives and deliverables with estimated delivery dates for each deliverable (if possible): Global climate change leads to an increase in the frequency of heat periods, even in moderate climate zones as Switzerland. Dairy cattle are particularly vulnerable to heat stress, which im-pairs performance as well as animal health and welfare. Cooling measures, commonly used inside the stable, are often not suitable for pastured cattle during heat periods. The objective of the project is to identify heat stress early and reliably by use of behavioural traits in pasture-based systems and to evaluate effective strategies to minimize heat load in dairy cows: 1) Sur-vey on the common heat stress management on dairy farms. 2) Experimental evaluation of behavioural indicators suitable to identify heat stress early in grazing dairy cows by means of validated physiological indicators. Additionally, the cooling efficiency of keeping cows indoors during the hottest time of the day will be assessed. 3) Finally, validation of the identified behav-ioural indicators of heat stress on several dairy farms.
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