Dairy Cattle Research
Research in dairy cattle nutrition includes:
- Forage evaluation in lactating cows using production and metabolism studies and chemical, physical, instrumental and in vitro analysis,
- silage preservation techniques and evaluation studies,
- efficiency of dietary protein and energy utilization in lactating cows and replacement heifers, including studies of digestion, absorption, microbial protein synthesis, and
- effects of dietary supplements on performance and fermentation.
Heat Stress Physiology and Management
The heat stress physiology and management program focuses on the applied and basic research to understand how hyperthermia affects dairy cattle and seek appropriate management and nutritional approaches to copy with the negative impacts of heat stress on cow and calf. Research includes:
- Effectiveness of different cooling system on heat stress abatement of lactating dairy cows.
- The effect of dietary ingredients, supplements, and composition on metabolic heat production and animal performance under heat stress.
- The impacts of the heat stress on mammary gland development during lactating and non-lactating periods.
- The effects of maternal heat stress during gestation on offspring’s health, metabolism and growth.
- The direct impact of heat stress on growth, metabolism and health of neonatal calf.
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Milk and Mastitis Quality
The Mastitis and Milk Quality program in the Animal and Dairy Science Department at UGA is focused on basic and applied studies on improving mammary gland health and the quality of milk products in dairy cows as well as in goats, horses, and sheep. Specific research areas include:
- The development of challenge models to induce intramammary infections,
- study of vaccination protocols to prevent mastitis,
- evaluation of antibiotic therapeutic regimens to cure infections,
- use of fly control programs as prevention strategies,
- efficacy evaluation of novel intramammary therapies,
- development of mastitis control programs for dairy heifers, and
- use of immunostimulants as dietary supplements to control mastitis.
Stephen C. Nickerson in collaboration with David J. Hurley of the Food Animal Health and Management Program of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Drs. Nickerson and Hurley have collaborated in the training of a significant number of graduate students in these areas.