Livestock Behavior and Welfare
The Livestock Behavior and Welfare research group at Colorado State University performs research in a variety of topic areas with primary focus on food animal behavior and welfare. The group looks to make practical improvements in live animal and slaughter systems to help improve animal welfare in addition to enhancing process efficiency and meat quality where applicable.
The most recent projects pursued within the Livestock Behavior and Welfare group have focused on:
- Leg conformation problems in feedlot cattle
- Assessment of handling practices at U.S. feedlots
- Examination of captive bolt stunner length on brain damage and post-mortem kicking in cattle
- Observations of pen stocking capacities for overnight lairage of fed cattle at harvest facility
- Factors impacting bruising in cattle
- Survey of cow-calf producers to understand management techniques impacting animal welfare
Pig Handling Facilities
Dr. Temple Grandin developed the design and construction of cattle and pig handling facilities for slaughter plants and feedlots. Her research group also lead research in the connection between improved pork quality in pigs and behavioral agitation prevention before slaughter.
Center Track Conveyor Restrainer
One of Dr. Grandin’s most acclaimed contributions to livestock wellbeing is the center track conveyor restrainer. Her technology now handles half of all the beef cattle in large U.S. beef plants. She also developed an objective scoring system for assessing welfare during slaughter, which is used internationally. Her research group was instrumental in the initial studies demonstrating the benefits of a calm temperament leading to higher weight gain and overall beef quality.
Dairy Free Stalls
Dr. Grandin’s group introduced the translational benefits to management of dairy free stalls. Her group demonstrated a reduction in hock lesions and overall benefit to livestock health which translates to higher quality market livestock.
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Dr. Grandin has given many lectures on animal welfare and livestock handling in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and many other countries. She also serves on the animal welfare committees for McDonals and Tyson, along with others, and is an instructor for the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization. Internationally, Dr. Grandin was on the committee that developed the OIE guidelines on animals welfare at slaughter.
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