Schothorst Feed Research starts dairy research on satellite farms
Schothorst Feed Research in the Netherlands has established an experimental design to answer the growing demand from suppliers of feed additives to determine the effects of their products on health and fertility. Three large scale practical dairy farms, each with more than 200 dairy cows, have been equipped with a special feeding system to feed different concentrates the animals.
The effect of nutrition on health and fertility are hard to measure under practice alike conditions. Suppliers would like to present the feed industry and farmers with data regarding health and fertility, that are derived with under practical conditions.
Those experiments require large number of animals to establish significant effects. Normally experimental herds do not have the required seize.
“We installed special feeding units on each farm, integrated with the on-farm data collection and have intensive contact with these farms. SFR is responsible for data and process control to guarantee a correct execution of the experimental protocols”, states Dr Wilfried van Straalen
, senior dairy nutritionist.
“The co-operation with these farmers enables us to perform experiments with 700 to 800 dairy cows under practical conditions, with high producing herds”. The first experiment started in the fall of 2011.
As a private research institute in the area of animal nutrition, Schothorst Feed Research
has a long history in nutrition research with livestock.
The increasing interest in sustainability and prolongation of the production period of dairy cows has elevated the importance of studies towards improved health and fertility.
Schothorst Feed Research expects more interest for these experimental designs with large number of animals in the future.
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