About the Centre
The formation of CDSI sees a substantial investment in the dairy facilities at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus, considerably expanding and redeveloping the existing research unit, creating internationally leading dairy science research facilities. The new facilities have three principal components:
- A nutritional research unit
- A flexible housing unit
- A Category 2 containment unit
Development started in March 2016, with new facilities due to come on line in early summer 2017.
The vision of the CIEL (www.cielivestock.co.uk), is to support, promote and deliver innovative, industry-led research for sustainable intensification of the UK livestock sector through a single centre, with the aim of generating wealth and business competitiveness through the growth in profitability of that sector. It will be overseen by an independent company founded in March 2016. From its headquarters at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus at York, CIEL will invest >£60 million over five years in state of the art research facilities across twelve research providers, including the University of Nottingham.
About the new dairy facilities
The new facilities being built at the University of Nottingham will encompass three principal components, a nutritional research unit, a flexible housing unit and a Category 2 containment unit.
The nutritional research facilities will allow nutritional studies with up to 100 individually-fed high-yielding dairy cows (dry and lactating) and heifers to test nutritional products, concepts and systems. Dietary treatments can include a variety of forages, compounds and straights. Animal responses will include milk production and composition, feed intake and live-weight change, but can be extended to measures such as blood metabolites and hormones, rumen function, digestibility, greenhouse gas emissions, reproduction and health indicators, feeding behaviour and milk fatty acid profile.
A unique flexible housing facility for two groups of ~30 animals will allow us to make exact evaluations of the impact of the environment on the health, welfare and physiology of housed dairy cows. For example, it will be possible to test the effects of building layout, stocking rate, access to indoor and outdoor loafing space, feed space and bedding on cow physiology, production, health, welfare and economics. The facility will complement and extend the Dairy Herd Health Group’s existing core skills in epidemiology and endemic disease research and control.
To complement the campus’s existing expertise in dairy cow infection and immunity, the new Category 2 containment facility will expand our capacity to investigate mastitis therapies and vaccines derived from new genomic technologies.