Production animal research

The Animal Production and Health Group at Massey University is a network of New Zealand and international research providers and industry groups. We work to advance scientific knowledge of production, welfare, health and biology. We regularly consult with industry professionals and producers and undertake quality research consistent with the needs of the sheep, beef, dairy, and deer industries.

We have access to over 1000 hectares of Massey University land near the Palmerston North campus, providing unsurpassed opportunities to conduct cost-effective research into pastoral production and health of sheep, deer, beef and dairy cattle.

Our research projects have input by researchers with a range of animal science, veterinary, agricultural science and extension expertise, and regular interdisciplinary liaison occurs with all projects. Researchers are actively involved in presenting and publishing information direct to the industry and to the scientific and professional communities.

Current research areas

Monogastric

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Monogastric

Our research focuses on nutrition for animal growth efficiency and health. We research nutrition and physiology of species and investigate the quality and human health attributes of animal products.

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Beef

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Beef

We improve beef production from pastoral-based systems through scientific experimentation and working with industry and farmers.

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Dairy

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Dairy

The dairy group consists of animal and dairy production scientists, veterinarians and technicians. We provide expertise across a broad range of dairy system and dairy animal research projects.

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Deer

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Deer

We conduct high-quality, interdisciplinary research to advance scientific knowledge of the biology and farming of deer.

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Sheep

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Sheep

Massey's International Sheep Research Centre advances scientific knowledge of sheep production, welfare, health and biology.

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Equine

Equine

The Massey Equine Research Centre undertakes scientific research into health and production problems that limit horse breeding, rearing and performance.


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Research and projects

Examples of projects from production animal researchers at Massey University.

Milking dairy cows once a day

Pasture-based  dairy  farming  in  New  Zealand has predominately been with cows milked twice-a-day (TAD). However, in the last few decades, milking once-a-day (OAD) has been adopted by some farmers in New Zealand for herd  management and lifestyle benefits.
A  challenge  for  the  dairy  industry  is  to  develop systems  that  have  a  low  impact  on  the  environment. Long-term research on Dairy 1 is looking at productivity and reproductive performance and the effect of a once-a-day Selection Index on three groups of dairy cows.

Breeding ewe lambs successfully

Ewe lambs have the ability to be successfully bred at 7–9 months of age. Breeding ewe lambs has a number of advantages including increased profitability and lifetime reproductive performance. However due to low and variable reproductive performance and the potential for negative effects on future performance, most ewe lambs are not bred.

This review compared the differences in reproductive performance between ewe lambs and mature ewes and summarised the known effects of ewe lamb breeding on lifetime performance.

Key contacts

  • Prof Stephen Morris

    Prof Stephen Morris

    Professor in Animal Science - Institute of Vet, Animal and Biomedical Sciences

    Email:

Our team

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