Automatic behavioural phenotyping and breeding for improved dairy cow welfare

BREEDWell

Start day

01.01.2020

End day

31.12.2022

Objectives, impacts and benefits

The main aim of this project is to open up a possible avenue for genetic improvement of welfare and temperament in dairy cattle via automatically obtained behavioural data. The objectives of this project are: (1) to develop novel welfare and temperament measures using sensor data, (2) to validate the putative welfare measures, and (3) to estimate genetic parameters of these novel traits. The results will be used to ensure that behavioural aspects of animal welfare, which have been given inadequate attention previously due to data constraints, will be acknowledged when defining animal breeding objectives and selecting farming practices which are accepted by the public. In addition, the developed behavioural phenotypes could be used in e.g. welfare labelling schemes for consumers, preventive health care by veterinarians and decision support tools for farm management.