Understanding the effects of outdoor access for dairy cows on transition cow health

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $179,469
Commodity: Dairy Cattle
Organization: University of Calgary
Investigator: Herman Barkema

Canadian view outdoor access for dairy cows as important, however, only about 20% of the lactating and 50% of the dry cows are provided pasture access in Canada.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

This research will evaluate the effects of outdoor access for dry cows on transition cow health as a barrier for outdoor access. Better understanding of the effects of different types of outdoor areas on the incidence of transition diseases will allow for evidence-based recommendations to be made on the benefits (or not) of providing outdoor access to dry cows on post-partum health outcomes.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This study will help to understand the effects of access to different types of outdoor areas during the dry period on transition cow health. The lack of knowledge in this area was identified by dairy producers as a major barrier to the provision of outdoor access for dry cows.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Results will be shared with the international scientific community via peer-reviewed scientific journal publications and through presentations at scientific conferences.

Results will also be communicated to participating dairy farmers and the Canadian dairy industry through half-yearly update reports and presentations.

Articles will also be published in industry publications like Milk Producer, Progressive Dairyman, and Hoard's Dairyman.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.