Enhancing animal welfare and farmer income through strategic animal feeding − Some case studies

Enhancing animal welfare
and farmer income through
strategic animal feeding
Some case studies

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2013


Animal welfare includes the combination of both physical and mental well-being. A properly balanced diet and water supplied in adequate amounts avoid physical and psychological suffering from hunger and thirst; furthermore correct nutrition is crucial for optimal performance and to sustain optimal fitness. So far little attention has been paid to understand the linkages between animal nutrition and animal welfare. Farmers find it difficult to adopt practices that promote animal welfare without having sound information on the impact of such practices on animal productivity and their income. This AGA Paper presents a series of case studies to document existing practices that enhance animal welfare as well as farmers’ incomes. It is hoped that the information contained will encourage researchers and agencies working in the area of animal welfare to initiate studies to capture the impact of any intervention on farmers’ incomes – an area that has been neglected to date. It is also envisaged that these studies could pave the way for developing guidelines and policy options to promote sustainable animal feeding that enhances animal welfare, animal productivity, animal product quality and profitability.




Reducing variability in nutrient consumption: Improving health, welfare and profitability of dairy cows fed total mixed rations

Improving the welfare of dairy goats: Feeding behaviour identifies goats at risk of subacute rumen acidosis

Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) as strategic supplement for dairy cows

Increasing profit in free-range poultry production systems through improved welfare – the use of nutritional interventions

Improving animal welfare and economic sustainability in bull-fattening systems in France: A comparison of three different feeding programmes

Seasonal weight loss – an assessment of losses and implications for animal welfare and production in the tropics: Southern Africa and Western Australia as case studies

Managing the costs of metritis: Using feeding behaviour to facilitate disease detection and improve dairy cattle welfare

Proper feeding improves welfare, calf performance and future productivity of dairy calves

Management issues with dry cows and a new feeding system for improved health, welfare and performance

The relationship between nutritional status and bovine welfare associated to adoption of intensive silvopastoral systems in tropical conditions

Use of nutraceuticals for improving animal health during the transition period of dairy cows


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ISBN 978-92-5-107452-7

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© FAO 2013