UNL’s Animal Science Department has a great impact on animal agriculture in Nebraska and beyond through dynamic networks of discovery and education, increased product value, and improved sustainability.
The multi-unit Animal Science research efforts at the ARDC includes a working dairy with approximately 250 cattle, a 2,000-head capacity beef feedlot, a 325-sow swine farrow-to-finish unit, a 180-beef cow teaching herd, a 220-beef cow physiology herd, an individual cattle feeding barn, and two feed mills.
The research feedlot at the ARDC is utilized to test new feeds, new management, and research emerging issues that are important to beef producers. Research includes byproduct utilization for distillers grains and corn gluten feed, nutrient management, E. coli studies, grain utilization, optimal growing and finishing systems, and growth promoting agents. An individualized feeding barn is also used for beef nutrition research. The operation utilizes a Calan/Broadbent system where the animals are trained to eat from a specific stall, thus enabling individual animal nutrition studies, rather than a group or "mean" study.
The Dairy research area seeks to provide information vital to Nebraska dairy producers. Milk production, diet studies, and reproduction are the main thrusts of the research. Approximately 250 total head of mature cows and replacement heifers make up the herd with 120 cows milked twice daily. Average annual milk production is 23,500 pounds per cow. Many people visit the Dairy research area each year to learn about the dairy industry.
The Beef Cow/Calf herd is comprised of two teaching herds and a physiology herd. The teaching herds consist of a registered Angus herd and a herd containing Husker Red or Husker Black hybrids. These animals are utilized in teaching programs and are often found "in the classroom" in animal evaluation, reproduction and physiology courses on campus at the University of Nebraska -Lincoln. The animals are also utilized for artificial insemination classes. And students in a bull merchandising class conduct a bull sale each spring utilizing some of the calves from the herd. Bulls from this herd are also utilized by other University of Nebraska research facilities across the state.
The third beef cow herd is the Physiology herd. Studies in this Husker Red and Red Angus-cross herd include reproductive physiology and endocrinology.
Nutrition studies, genetics, facilities, meat quality and other industry issues, such as production and business management are studied at the Swine research area. The Swine research area is a 325-sow farrow to finish operation. Nearly 3,500 head could be on hand when operating at capacity limits. The facility is operated under the same principles as a Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) facility.
And an onsite feedmill mixes supplement rations, grain mixes and complete feeds for livestock at the ARDC and for livestock kept on UNL’s East Campus and for several other UNL research facilities. The majority of the feed milled onsite for the livestock is bulk with the remainder being sacked.
The Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences research provides University of Nebraska research scientists access to a unique population of animals for studying infectious diseases. The small cattle herd is maintained in excellent health, free of two common viral diseases, and free from the deadly O157 H7 strain of E coli. Results of VBS studies provide data that protect the health and welfare of cattle throughout the United States and enhance the economic viability of safe food production in Nebraska.
We are also protecting the food supply with our research on E. coli in live cattle. And we are researching diseases in livestock that not only affect the animals, but could also have potentially harmful effects on humans.
Learn more by visiting the following links:
View short videos below.
Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
- You will need Real Media Player to open these clips. A free player can be downloaded from http://www.real.com.