Identifying maternal and post-natal effects on pre-weaned dairy calves’ health

Fund

AWF Research Fund

Grant

£3,261

Research Period

2020

Area of study

Student Research

Description

Investigator(s): Kerry Long

Supervisor(s): Professor George Oikonomou, Dr Joseph Neary

Neonatal calf health is still suboptimal in the majority of UK farms. Diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia remain highly prevalent and represent a major threat for the young calf’s welfare and the sustainability of dairy farms. They propose to conduct research into a variety of factors that may be associated with the susceptibility of neonatal calves to disease. Their main focus, and the main novelty of this project, will be the investigation of the impact maternal stressors may have in the development of early life calf diseases. They will make use of a unique dataset which is already being developed by the two project supervisors. More specifically, they will be able to investigate how maternal diseases like lameness or mastitis occurring during the gestation period may affect the health of the new-born dairy calf.