Externally funded project

Assessing performance in relation to animal health and welfare and their economic implications based on an aggregated indicator concept in dairy production (Tier-Wirt)

Project Details
Project duration: 10/201604/2020


A main purpose of strategies with respect to animal health and welfare in livestock production is focused on the protection of individual farm animals against being overstrained by challenges from changes in the living conditions. In the study a concept will be developed which enables the assessment of performance in coping and a comparison with farm specific economic data. Challenges exist when trying to realise continuous and valid assessments and to estimate failure costs which are caused by suboptimal living conditions. Reducing failure costs is equivalent with the level of investment that enables compensation for additional efforts related to the implementation of welfare measures without compromising farmers’ income. In this respect, it is of high importance to identify those measures which show a high effectiveness in relation to animal health and welfare and simultaneously a favourable cost-benefit-relationship.

The complexity of the issue will be addressed by a pragmatic and nevertheless scientific sound concept. Based on milk recording data and relying on a specific software, the individual gaps between nutrient demand and supply and health related impairments in relation to the ability to cope with the living conditions are being assessed. Economic estimations are based on data of unit branch evaluation. The aim is to develop a phased approach to assess the individual performance in coping. Furthermore, a software will be developed which enable to deal with farm specific data and welfare indicators which can be aggregated and utilised by the farmers. At the same time, the concept will provide options for a comprehensive monitoring on the farm level.


A comprehensive data set will be collected from 36 dairy farms provide and processed by using a corresponding software. Among others, the gap between energy demand and supply will be assessed on the level of the individual animal as well as the level of production diseases on the farm level. Furthermore, all farms will be assessed by the WelfareQualityò protocol.

Algorithms will be developed to assess the farm specific cost situation in relation to individual performance data of dairy cows and possible costs in relation to preventive measures to improve animal health and welfare. A test model of the software will be applied to elaborate farm individual strategies for optimisation.


Animal Health, Animal Health Economy, Animal Nutrition, Animal Welfare, Dairy Cows, Milchkühe, Tierernährung, Tiergesundheit, Tiergesundheitsökonomie, Tierwohl



Last updated on 2020-17-01 at 15:05