Visit to Lövsta

Lövsta is a livestock research center linked to SLU where a considerable amount of livestock-related research projects have been developed. This facility counts with an area dedicated to dairy cows, another for pigs and a third one for poultry.

If you are starting your studies at SLU with something animal related, then there is a very high chance that you’ll get to visit Lövsta at some point of your education. That’s why, in order for you to know a little bit about what could you expect when visiting Lövsta, I decided to write about my own experience.

Last Thursday, our animal science group finally got to visit Lövsta for the first time!. Upon our arrival, one of the vets in charge gave us a presentation about the facility, the research projects that have been done, and how the animals are housed. I was glad to hear that, besides production, animal health and welfare are one of the most common research topics.

After that, we had a guided tour around the dairy cattle area –this tour was very quick and everything we saw was behind glass doors. Since my bachelor’s background is biology, I’d never had the opportunity to visit farms or dairy cattle facilities in my country, so this was a first for me. It was also the first time I heard about or saw self-milking cows, which I think is a wonderful idea.

Since we didn’t have enough time, we had to skip the poultry section, so the second part of the day we spent it in the pig area. In order to enter this area, we needed to go through several biosecurity steps: first signing some papers, then cleaning our hands with soap and alcohol, then changing into some clean overalls and socks provided by Lövsta, and finally cleaning ourselves again. After going through all these steps, we finally got to see the pigs. The first rooms we saw were filled with piglets and gravid sows, and the next rooms had mostly youngsters and adults. During this part of the visit we got some more information about the different research projects that have been done in Lövsta, particularly with pigs. After finishing seeing the animals, we went through the same biosecurity steps, but now in reverse, and prepared to leave.

This visit was very interesting since it was the first time I saw how research in farm animals is done and I got a better picture of what could I expect if i decide to develop my master thesis in this area. Also, It was fascinating to see where the research tendencies are going to. And, as I mentioned before, I am glad that the tendencies are going towards a more sustainable way of production and improvement of animal welfare.

Lövsta’s main entrance

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you also have an amazing time when you get to go to Lövsta. If you have any questions or just wanna add something, please leave a comment!

Hope you have a nice day!



    1. Hello and sorry for the late reply! There is a lot to say about self-milking cows but overall the main idea is the following:

      Self milking cows is a system where cows decide when they want to get milked! In this kind of system, cows are free to walk around the barn and feed of the normal kind of food, like grass or silage. However, there is a special kind of feed that cows love placed close to an automated milking system. When cows decide that they want to eat this kind of especial food, they get milked at the same time, and when they leave, the milking stops.

      Hope this was of help and thank you very much for your comment.

      Hope you have a lovely day!


    1. Yes, absolutely! I have many vegetarian and vegan friends who are taking this course. There are some courses that are slightly more focused on animal production, but not all of them and you can select the courses you want to take and build your own course programme. We have animal welfare, animal feeding, breeding, and genetics, which I would say are vegan friendly 🙂

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