Category Archives: GAP21

GAP 21: Sheep in Sweden

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

In Scandinavia, sheep production is strongly bound to the climate. However,
there are different types of production systems used. Timing of birth of the lambs
is regulated by the time of year breeding takes place. Depending on the moment
that lambs are ready for slaughter, it is either called spring, autumn or winter
production.  The impact of the type of production is huge, since lambs born before
late spring, will need to be kept indoors over winter. Not only does this mean that
more space is required in the barn, there are also higher costs of straw, hay and labour.
Yet, this production system is not uncommon. The lambs on the photo had spent
their lives indoor thus far; their first day outside was a joy to watch!

Rosan

GAP21: Intensive dairy in Denmark

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

Adorable, those young dairy calves. With their big eyes and wet noses, trying to lick you when you approach. In Denmark many dairy farms are so big that there are always some new born calves around. Farmers have mixed feelings when a new calf is born. Is it a cow or a bull calf? It’s a hard day, when mainly males are born. In Denmark it is not uncommon that the bull calves are shot, even before it had it’s first drink. All over the world farmers with specialized dairy systems face the same struggle: What to do with the bull calves? In some countries there are little issues raising these young bulls, but in Denmark that is not the case. ‘I wish I could let them live, but I will loose a lot of money on feeding it and in the end I can not sell it for a reasonable price’, a farmer explained. So this picture you see, it’s females only; their brothers never made it to the young stock stable. It was taken in 2012, but I am afraid there is no reason to believe the faith of bull calves has changed yet. 

Rosan

GAP21: Alpacas in Norway

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

Have you ever met an alpaca? If you’re from Europe the chances that you might
answer ‘ yes’ have increased rapidly over the past years. This adorable looking
camelid comes originally from the Andes of South America, but seems to cope well
with the European climate. Alpaca wool is famous for it’s special fibres and sells
for an extraordinary price compared to sheep wool. Small alpaca businesses are
popping up all around Europe, though science-based knowledge or regulations
on how you’re supposed to keep the species are hard to find. The beauty on the
picture is a young alpaca, housed in a small flock on a mixed farm in Norway.

Rosan

GAP21: Traditional dairy in Romania

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

During a project in Romania we were welcomed at a small, traditional farm which
included a few dairy cows. Because of the language barrier we were joined by an
interpreter who ensured the communication between the farmer and us. The tied
cows
looked healthy and at ease but I was disappointed to hear they never grazed
outside (‘too hot’). When the interpreter pointed at the spider webs and explained
they were never taken away on purpose, I thought he had translated wrongly. But
he hadn’t. The Romanian farmer was convinced that spider webs contain a natural
form of penicillin that contributes to the cows’ health. I must admit I thought it was
kind of silly at first. But can you say it’s not true?  Actually, the few studies that have
been done seem to point towards such a finding… Try to keep an open mind, always.

Rosan

GAP21: Organic pigs in Australia

GAP21 stands for Global Animal Production in the 21 Century. No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

Certified organic farms require their animals to spend a lot of their
lifetime outdoors. In the outback of Australia it can be hard for pigs
to cope with the tropical hot summers. Pigs enjoy taking baths in
the mud, which helps them to cool down. The dried cover of mud
forms an ideal protection against sunburn and insects. This farmer
realised the importance of bathing for his pigs but struggled with
the consistent drought. Therefore he kept experimenting until he
finally found a design that was pig-proof, low cost and easy to make.
As you can see his efforts were highly appreciated!

Rosan

Global Animal Production in the 21st Century

Hej allihop,

I decided to introduce another category: Global Animal Production in the 21st Century. Which I’ll abbreviate down to GAP21. The purpose? Show what animal production looks like in the current era, Worldwide. An important part of the study of animal sciences consists of farm visits, both on a national and an international level. Theory might be the foundation of the academic education, excursions to learn how animal production takes place in real form an important component as well. I’ve done a lot of these excursions, talked to many farmers and… I have taken heaps of photos. Between my bachelor and master programme I’ve done several farming jobs while travelling in Oceania.  What do these farming systems have in common, and what is totally different?

“Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.”

No animal production system is perfect. Each culture has their own traditions regarding animal husbandry. Every country faces their own challenges. Let me show you what I have seen and learned thus far: One photo at a time.

Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Let me know by leaving a reply.

Rosan