The climate is changing. Animals and farmers have to deal with the consequences of climate change. Consider longer periods of extreme drought, hot summers and other extreme weather conditions.
Experts from Wageningen Livestock Research are investigating how they can improve the stretchability and resilience of animals so that they can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Heat stress in cows
For example, dairy cows often suffer from heat stress due to changing weather conditions. This manifests itself in, among other things, a lower milk production, an increased cell count, a decreased dry matter intake, more difficulties in becoming pregnant, and less lying down. Data is collected using biomarkers and cow sensors. This is translated into early-warning systems that livestock farmers can use to take adequate measures in preventing the negative consequences of heat stress.
Fish welfare with warmer water
We also see the effects of climate change in the seas and oceans: the water is getting warmer and acidification is occurring. We investigate the effects of higher water temperatures and acidification on the well-being and resilience of fish in farming systems. With this research we also contribute to knowledge about the effects of climate change on natural fish populations.
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