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Does milk yield reflect the level of welfare in dairy herds?

Abstract : Under the assumption that milk yield may be reduced in herds with impaired welfare, the present study aimed at investigating whether milk yield could be used as a reliable indicator of welfare. In 125 commercial French dairy herds, the association between the welfare of the herd (evaluated using the Welfare Quality assessment protocol) and cow milk yield was investigated using linear mixed models. Positive associations were identified between milk yield and low aggressions between cows and good emotional state of the herd but there was a negative association with good health assessed through the occurrence of diseases and injuries. These opposite associations resulted in no association with the overall welfare of the herd. Milk yield should not therefore be used as an indicator of overall welfare.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02635308
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 5:40:03 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 3:43:26 AM

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Maud Coignard, Raphaël Guatteo, Isabelle Veissier, Anne Lehébel, Charlotte Hoogveld, et al.. Does milk yield reflect the level of welfare in dairy herds?. Veterinary Journal, Elsevier, 2014, 199 (1), pp.184-187. ⟨10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.10.011⟩. ⟨hal-02635308⟩

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