Work package 3: Optimizing dairy calf rearing through enhanced milk feeding and calf fattening on dairy farms with the help of dams – effects on welfare including health

Although pioneers implementing alternative rearing systems with mother-infant contact or ad-libitum milk feeding are often organic farmers, the majority of dairy calves on organic farms are still reared with restricted milk amounts. This work package investigates the hypotheses that:

  1. milk amounts exceeding current recommendations lead to improved welfare, including health, and
  2. fattening of dairy calves using foster cows improves welfare, including health, and leads to a low use of antibiotics and an improved veal quality.


Prof. Dr. Ute Knierim and Dr. Silvia Ivemeyer, Universität Kassel, Work package leaders