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Dairy cows can feel hunger during dry-off

PhD defence, Friday 5 March 2021, Guilherme Amorim Franchi

2021.03.05 | Helle Mitzi Thomsen Reichl

Guilherme Amorim Franchi

During his PhD studies, Guilherme Amorim Franchi investigated the presence of hunger in cows during dry-off. Typically, in commercial dairy farms, milking is ceased approximately 2 months before expected calving, and the cow is “dry” until the beginning of the next lactation. Dietary and milking frequency changes, as well as administration of a prolactin-secretion inhibitor, may be adopted to reduce milk production prior to the onset of the dry period and facilitate dry-off. In contrast to an extensive body of research examining how dry-off affects productivity and udder health, little is known about how cows feel during this period. Guilherme Amorim Franchi studied how these dry-off management practices can cause hunger in high-yielding cows using several behavioral measures.

The new research findings contribute to the understanding of how dry-off management can affect the behavior and the affective aspect of welfare of cows.

The PhD study was completed at Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 5 March 2021 at 14:00

The PhD defence will be held online. Link to the event: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/65854292412

Title of PhD thesis:
Hunger in dairy cows at dry-off – Behavioural effects of dietary and milking frequency changes and pharmacological prolactin secretion inhibition

Contact information: Guilherme Amorim Franchi, e-mail: amorimfranchi@anis.au.dk, tel.: +45 60902711

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Marina von Keyserlingk, Animal Welfare Program, University of British Columbia, Canada

Professor Päivi Johanna Rajala-Schultz, Production Animal Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland

Associate Professor Janne Winther Christensen (chair), Animal Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Professor Margit Bak Jensen, Animal Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Senior Researcher Mette S. Herskin, Animal Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
Due to the coronavirus situation, the PhD thesis will not be available for reading at the offices of the PhD administration. Instead, interested parties may send an e-mail to gradschool.tech@au.dk to receive a digital copy of the PhD thesis. Please note, it may in certain cases be necessary to make an individual arrangement to read the PhD thesis.    

PhD defence
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