Understanding and promoting animal welfare is an essential part of achieving sustainability in food animal production. To this end, the applied research questions in our program follow these broad themes:
- Understanding the needs of dairy animals from a biological, species- and life-stage-appropriate perspective: what behaviors are important for them to be able to express and what resources do they need?
- Improving the fit between dairy animals and their environments: how do housing, management, and handling decisions affect behavior, physiology, and production?
- How do we evaluate animal welfare effectively in both research and commercial settings?
Topic: Welfare assessment and sampling
- Van Os, Jennifer M. C., Daniel M. Weary, Joao H. C. Costa, Maria J. Hötzel, Marina A. G. von Keyserlingk. 2019. Sampling strategies for assessing lameness, injuries, and body condition score on dairy farms. Journal of Dairy Science 102:8290–8304. doi:https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-15134. [open access]
- Van Os, Jennifer M. C., Christoph Winckler, Julia Trieb, Soraia V. Matarazzo, Terry W. Lehenbauer, John D. Champagne, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2018. Reliability of sampling strategies for measuring dairy cattle welfare on commercial farms. Journal of Dairy Science 101:1495-1504.doi:10.3168/jds.2017-13611.
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2016. Technical note: Comparison of instantaneous sampling and continuous observation of dairy cattle behavior in freestall housing. Journal of Dairy Science 99:8341-8346. doi:10.3168/jds.2016-11351.
Topic: Feeding motivation
- Van Os, Jennifer M. C., Erin M. Mintline, Trevor J. DeVries, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2018. Domestic cattle (Bos taurus taurus) are motivated to obtain forage and will demonstrate contrafreeloading. PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0193109. [*Featured on front page of PLoS ONE website; open access]
- Van Os, Jennifer M. C., Erin M. Mintline, Trevor J. DeVries, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2017. Motivation of naïve feedlot cattle to obtain grain and individual responses to novelty. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 197:68-74. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2017.09.001.
Topic: Environment and Stress
- Chung, Hanwook, Jiengjie Li, Younghyun Kim, Jennifer M. C. Van Os, Sabrina H. Brounts, and Christopher Y. Choi. 2020. Using implantable biosensors and wearable scanners to monitor dairy cattle’s core body temperature in real-time. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 174:105453. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2020.105453.
- Van Os, Jennifer M. C. 2019. Considerations for cooling dairy cows with water. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 35:157-173. doi:10.1016/j.cvfa.2018.10.009. (Invited review in Housing to Optimize Comfort, Health and Productivity of Dairy Cattle, edited by Nigel B. Cook)
- Wang, Xiaoshuai, Hongding Gao, Kifle G. Gebremedhin, Bjarne Schmidt Bjerg, Jennifer Van Os, Cassandra B. Tucker, Guoqiang Zhang. 2018. A predictive model of Equivalent Temperature Index for dairy cattle (ETIC). Journal of Thermal Biology 76:165-170. doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2018.07.013.
- Chen, Jennifer M., Carolyn L. Stull, David N. Ledgerwood, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2017. Muddy conditions reduce hygiene and lying time in dairy cattle and increase time spent on concrete. Journal of Dairy Science 100:2090-2103. doi:10.3168/jds.2016-11972.
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2016.Cooling cows efficiently with water spray: Behavioral, physiological, and production responses to sprinklers at the feed bunk. Journal of Dairy Science 99:4607–4618. doi:10.3168/jds.2015-10714. [*Featured as JDS Editor’s Choice: open access pdf]
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2016. Sprinkler flow rate affects dairy cattle avoidance of spray to the head, but not overall, in an aversion race. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 179:23-31. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2016.03.007.
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2016. Sprinkler flow rate affects dairy cattle preferences, heat load, and insect-deterrence behavior. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 182:1-8.doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2016.05.023.
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2015. Cooling cows efficiently with sprinklers: Physiological responses to water spray. Journal of Dairy Science 98:6925-6938. doi:10.3168/jds.2015-9434. [Dataset doi:10.25338/B88P7H]
- Chen, Jennifer M., Karin E. Schütz, and Cassandra B. Tucker. 2013. Dairy cows use and prefer feed bunks fitted with sprinklers. Journal of Dairy Science 96:5035-5045. doi:10.3168/jds.2012-6282.