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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Constancis Caroline

Team PEP'S

Constancis Caroline
© CC

PhD student

 Oniris site de la Chantrerie, CS40706, 44307 Nantes, France
 team PEP'S, building G4 1st floor

Tel: 02 40 68 29 31

Caroline Constancis, a graduate of Agrocampus Ouest, joined BIOEPAR as a PhD student. She is supervised by Christophe Chartier, Nadine Ravinet and Florence Hellec (sociologist in the Aster unit (INRA SAD) in Mirecourt) to work on the technical and health benefits of new ways of managing dairy calves under a nurse in organic farming (from the farmers' point of view to the quantification of health effects). Beyond the description of these innovative behaviours, which are currently poorly documented, Caroline will assess the impact on calf health and analyse the innovation strategy of farmers who have chosen to work in this way for calf rearing.

Thesis subject: 

Rearing methods considered more natural, such as nursing mothers or nurse cows, have recently reappeared in northern European countries and the USA. In France, some organic and conventional dairy farmers have experimented with this type of management in the framework of autonomous grassland production systems. However, these experiments remain poorly documented. Furthermore, the simultaneous management of cattle of different ages, particularly of mother-feeder-calf pairs in dairy farming, represents a profound change in the epidemiology of infectious agents in the neonatal period and internal parasites in the pasture, compared to the current conventional management of heifers, and to date has not been the subject of specific studies. The first objective of the thesis is to better understand the motivations of these breeders and the strategies for implementing these types of systems in the overall management of their farms in order to enable the various stakeholders in animal husbandry to accompany the breeders in this innovation process. The second objective is to study the effects of the association between heifers and cows in terms of neonatal infections and parasitic infestations, the use of drug inputs, zootechnical performance and animal welfare. This work will ultimately make it possible to identify the elements of management in relation to a reduction/degradation or not of these different elements in heifers and to produce indicators to accompany these changes in practices.