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8. Animal health and welfare in relation to production-related disorders

Our research aim and focus

With the aim to improve robustness of farm animals, focus is to understand the background for, expression of, and prevention of production-related disorders, and to study how nutrition and management may improve reproduction, health, and welfare as well as offspring resilience.

Our primary focus areas

  • Implementation of animal-based measures (clinical signs and routinely recorded data) as indicators of health and welfare
  • Evaluation of associations between animal-based measures, management, production, health and welfare
  • Mortality, culling and reproductive strategies (e.g. prolonged lactation), to optimize management, production and improve longevity
  • Physiological and immunological imbalances in production-related disorders, to prevent them through management or nutrition
  • Background for and prevention of production disorders, e.g. through management, avoiding physiological, immunological or nutritional imbalances
  • Implantation and early development of the fetus, to determine relation between production-related imbalances and resulting pregnancy quality
  • Relation between final pregnancy period and the newborn’s health and performance, to optimize management or nutrition
  • Early period for the offspring with focus on colostrum quality and different ways of immunological support, to establish a more robust newborn
  • Role of epigenetics and imprinting in production animal reproduction, health and disease occurrence, to establish this as a new research area

Theme group coordinator

Peter T. Thomsen

Professor Institut for Husdyrvidenskab - ANIS Welfare

Our research perspectives

The knowledge obtained will help to prevent production disorders and will give a better basic reproductive biological knowledge about the individual farm animal during critical periods.

Precise and objective knowledge about animal-based measures is needed to be able to assess animal health and welfare at individual, flock, or herd level.

It will also lead to better advices to practice on risk factors, management and nutrition that will improve animal performance, reproduction, health and welfare, also for the offspring. Finally, a reduction in production-related disorders will improve productivity, reduce climate impact, and thus support green transition.