Type: Book

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle


Dr Marcia Endres is Professor of Dairy Cattle Production at the University of Minnesota, USA. She is past-President of the Dairy Cattle Welfare Council in the US as well as Chair of the International Precision Dairy Farming Organisation. Professor Endres is internationally renowned for her research on dairy cattle welfare and the use of precision farming techniques in the dairy sector.



Publication date:

23 February 2021

Length of book:

300 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764591

Hardback - £150.00
Request Permissions


The welfare of farmed animals such as cattle is an increasing concern for consumers and regulatory agencies. Understanding dairy cattle behaviour is suggested to be the foundation for improving welfare.

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle provides a comprehensive review of current welfare issues across the value chain, from calves and heifers to culling. This collection features authoritative discussions by leading experts on the viability of areas such as cognition and learning, pain and stress, as well as social behaviour for improving welfare.

With its distinguished author team and wide-ranging coverage, Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of dairy cattle will be a standard reference for university and other researchers in dairy and veterinary science as well as ethology. It will also be a key reference for government and other agencies involved in regulating and monitoring farm animal welfare, as well as dairy farmers and companies processing milk and other dairy products.

Key features

  • Particularly strong focus on understanding dairy cattle behaviour as the foundation for improving welfare in such areas as cognition and learning, pain and stress as well as social behaviour 
  • Covers developments in more animal/outcome-based welfare indicators as well as advanced sensor, acoustic and video techniques for monitoring behaviour and welfare 
  • Comprehensive review of welfare issues across the value chain, from calves and heifers to culling

What others are saying...

"The various parts of this volume address effectively the different components required to understand the behaviour and improve the welfare of dairy cattle. The expertise of the contributing authors guarantees a significant contribution to this important area."
Prof. Harry Blokhuis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Table of contents

1.The importance of measuring behaviour in the assessment of dairy cattle: Donald Broom, University of Cambridge, UK;

Part 1 Understanding behaviour
2.Advances in understanding cognition and learning in cattle: Christian Nawroth, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Germany;
3.Advances in understanding pain and stress in cattle: Marie Haskell, SRUC, UK;

Part 2 Welfare indicators and monitoring
4.Developing effective welfare indicators for cattle: Isabelle Veissier, INRA, France;
5.Advances in sensors, video/acoustic and other techniques for monitoring cattle health and wellbeing: Henk Hogeveen, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
6.Developing effective training and certification schemes for improving on-farm dairy cattle welfare: Antoni Dalmau, IRTA, Spain;

Part 3 Improving welfare practices
7.Developments in housing of cattle to promote health and welfare: Nigel Cook, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA;
8.Advances in understanding the needs and improving welfare of calves and heifers: Emily Miller-Cushon, University of Florida, USA;
9.Advances in understanding the needs and improving the welfare of transition dairy cows: Katy Proudfoot, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada;
10.Optimizing welfare in transport and slaughter of cattle: Jan Shearer, Iowa State University, USA;