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Last update: May 2021

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Grazy DaiSy

Technical and health evaluation of new ways of driving dairy heifers with adults in organic farming

Grazy DaiSy
© Oniris
This project aims to study animal husbandry practices that meet societal expectations of animal welfare, as they rely on the maintenance of social and nurturing links between calves and cows in grassland dairy systems. It is in line with the perspective of agro-ecology as well as that of European policies, which promote more shared innovation between farmers, scientists and agricultural advisers.

Project Summary :

The objective of this European project CORE organic Cofund is to encourage the use of grazing for dairy cows and the rearing of calves with the cows while minimising the use of medicines. In France, the focus has been on the study of agrobiological systems for rearing calves with feeder cows. However, these field experiments remain poorly documented, both from a zootechnical point of view and in terms of their effects on animal health and welfare. Compared to the current classical management of heifers (separated from adult cows at an early age), the simultaneous management of cattle of different ages (adult cows and calves) in dairy farming could induce a change in the epidemiology of neonatal diseases and internal parasitosis in the pasture and, to date, this has not been the subject of specific studies.

The first objective of the project is to better understand the motivations of these farmers and the strategies implemented in these types of systems in order to enable the various stakeholders in animal husbandry to accompany farmers 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 medicinal inputs, performance and animal welfare.

This work will ultimately make it possible to identify the elements of behaviour in relation to a reduction/degradation or not of these different elements in heifers and to produce indicators to accompany these changes in practices.

Breeders and advisers participating in the Grazy DaiSy project met on 18/10/2019 for the Journée du Projet GrazyDaiSy to share its first results. 

Duration of the project :

3,5 years (2018-2021)

Partners :

  • UR INRA SAD-ASTER : Unité AgroSystèmes TErritoires Ressources,
  • Department of Animal Science, Epidemiology and Management, Aarhus University, DK,
  • University of Hogenheim, DE,
  • Estonian University of Life science, EE,
  • Norvegian Centre of Organic Agriculture, N

People involved in BIOEPAR : Nathalie Bareille (, Christophe Chartier (, Alain Chauvin (, Caroline Constancis (, Nadine Ravinet (

Contact person : Nathalie Bareille (, Nadine Ravinet (

Project link :

Other information :

Annual meetings are organized to report on the progress of the project; contact us if you are interested.

Breeders and advisers participating in the Grazy DaiSy project met on 18/10/2019 for the