MSc positions (2), Canada (start September 2020)

 17th Apr 2020

Beef calf health management

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Calgary, Canada

  1. Position 1: The successful candidate will conduct research investigating the perceptions of cow-calf producers and beef veterinarians about on-farm disease control strategies. Understanding beef producers' motivators and barriers to using disease control strategies is essential to optimizing cattle health, well-being, and productivity. This study will quantify how operations manage biosecurity, vaccination, and parasite control, and engage in verification or certification programs. It will use interviews with producers and veterinarians to gain an in-depth understanding of what motivates their decisions and what barriers exist to implementing alternative practices. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to assist in a variety of other beef cattle research projects.
  2. Position 2: The successful candidate will conduct research evaluating economic impacts and pain mitigation strategies in cow-calf pairs assisted at calving. The relationship between calving difficulty and pain and inflammation, and its impact on production has not been well described in beef cattle. This study will use data collected from a cattle record management system to develop a cost-benefit and decision tree analysis to determine the economic impact of an assisted calving on cow and calf productivity as well as conduct a field trial to investigate the use of pain mitigation strategies on painful behaviours and the cow-calf bond in assisted cows and their calves. Understanding the impacts and labor costs of assisted calving may motivate producers to utilize strategies to better manage assisted calvings and help develop new techniques to decrease the negative outcomes experienced by cows and calves assisted during calving. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to assist in a variety of other beef cattle research projects.

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