GrazyDaiSy – to promote health and mother-infant contact in organic dairy farming

The CORE Organic Cofund project GrazyDaiSy will develop innovative and sustainable grazing-based dairy systems, integrating cows and young stock.

2018.02.01 | Editor: Karin Ullven

Organic ruminant farming is based on grazing systems. Yet, specialized dairy production relies much on imported concentrate feed and the use of antibiotics and anthelminthics. Most calves are removed from their dam already one day after birth, despite emphasis on naturalness. The project GrazyDaiSy aims at developing innovative, resilient and sustainable organic grazing-based dairy systems in different economic and agro-ecological contexts within Europe. It aims to integrate the rearing of cows with young stock, e.g. allowing mother-infant contact, and to promote health to minimize anthelminthic and antibiotic use. We address several knowledge gaps and controversies related to grazing, animal health promoting strategies, and strategies to keep calves with their dam. 

On-farm research and context-specific approaches

GrazyDaiSy is based on participatory experimental and on-farm research, focused on innovative strategies for grazing-based dairy systems with dam-calf rearing and herds with mixed age groups, minimal antibiotic and anthelminthic use, and more natural behavior. Nutritional, ethological, immunological, epidemiological, and qualitative research methods will be used since implementation of novel strategies requires technical knowledge, context specific approaches and understanding of perceptions and practices. 

Four scientific work packages build on four hypotheses and are expected to deliver results on 1) novel innovative grazing systems, 2) sustainable maternal care, bonding and debonding between dam and calf, 3) effective novel animal health and welfare promotion, and 4) strategies and practices for resilience in a range of European dairy systems. A fifth work package ensures appropriate management and effective dissemination. 

The consortium’s 15 scientific and stakeholder partners from 8 countries represent a wide range of scientific expertise and levels of organic farming experience. The project builds on context-specific approaches, complementarities, synergies and mutual learnings across the work packages and between partners. 

Coordinator: Mette Vaarst (e-mail: Mette.Vaarst@anis.au.dk

Partner countries: DK, PL, NL, FR, TR, DE, EE & NO

 

 

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