The Departement of Livestock Sciences engages in research and development in the areas of animal breeding, husbandry, nutrition and health.
Using interdisciplinary and participatory approaches, we develop strategies for improving livestock husbandry on organic holdings. For all livestock species, the combination of site-appropriate breeding, ethologically sound husbandry, efficient hygiene measures as well as ethologically sound and efficient feeding strategies is essential. Our strategies tackle issues at different levels: With dairy cows the focus is on sustainable breeding strategies for organic farming, grassland-based feeding and the control of pasture-borne parasites. In poultry keeping, housing systems, feeding and management are optimized with a view to ethological criteria, parasite burden and protein resource efficiency. In sheep and goats, parasite problems are addressed by way of a range of non-chemical control strategies.
In the area of animal health we conduct research on the causal agents of diseases, preventive measures, and the effectiveness and economic efficiency of complementary and alternative medicine for livestock. With the aim of preventing diseases and understanding health mechanisms in livestock herds, we analyse the various factors responsible for livestock health directly on farms. Using holistic animal health strategies, we strive to enable practitioners to prevent livestock health problems. Our research findings are applied to herd management and holistic animal health strategies.