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Animal Body Condition Score Predictions Research Study Scholarship for PHD Students

Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences Scholarships in New Zealand

Massey University New Zealand

Improving the consistency and reliability  of live weight and body condition score (BCS) predictions.

The consistency and reliability of live weights of both sheep and cattle is affected by a number of variables.  Rumen gut fill can account for more than 5% of total live weight and therefore time off feed affects the live weight at any given time point when the live weight is recorded..  It is known that total live weight declines in a non-liner manner during the first 12 to 24 hours post removal from feed, with a faster rate occurring soon after removal. Inconsistencies in live weight measurements limit interpretations of live weights for  management decisions, for example resulting in poor decisions when deciding which animals to sell for slaughter or determining if feeding levels of a pregnant animal are resulting in appropriate total live weight gains.   With electronic identification and modern weigh systems it is now possible to collect lifetime data improving management outcomes however, the usefulness of that data is also dependent on consistent live weights over time.  Weigh systems can collect individual time of weighing.  In theory using that knowledge, combined with the time at which animals were collected for weighting and using yet to be developed equations for predicting live weight change over time post removal from feed it should be possible to calculate consistent live weight measurement. Modern weigh system should be able to provide this information to farmer instantaneously.  In addition to creating these live weight adjustment equations questions needing to be asked include but are not limited too; do the equations differ based on age, physiological sate and type and level of feeding.          

In sheep BCS is known to be related to animal performance and while farmers who do use body condition score acknowledge these benefit the majority of farmer still do don’t BCS as they see it as labour intensive. BCS, in comparison with live weight, circumvents the issues of skeletal size between and within breeds and physiological state and is not influenced by gut fill or the length and wetness of the fleece.  Modern weigh systems combined with electronic identification allow for lifetime data to be collected.  The mature live weight of a sheep  occurs at approximately three years of age.  Therefore using that information combined with a BCS at that stage it should be possible to identify a base BCS and live weight relationship for a sheep.   Then as the sheep ages future live weights, based on the above prediction equations should be able to be used predict a change in BCS, resulting in live weight recordings providing two types of data.  This relationship has not been tested.  In theory it should also be possible using physical size data and live weight of a young animal to predict a future mature weight and BCS relationship.  If this was feasible it should be possible to determine a BCS for an individual based on an individual live weight from a young age.  This hypothesis needs testing also.    

 

A Scholarship will be available

Closing date 12 July 2017

Please send your CV, and academic transcripts and a letter to D.M.Hill@massey.ac.nz

 

 

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New Zealand's only veterinary degree, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, allows our graduates to work in many different countries.  

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Students seeking entrance to a postgraduate programme in the College of Sciences must have the equivalent of a New Zealand Bachelor degree. The following postgraduate programmes are currently offered:

Bachelor Degrees with Honours

A one year full-time or part-time degree advancing the major in the first degree. Admission will normally require at least a B+ average in the Bachelor major subject.

Bachelor of AgriCommerce with Honours

Bachelor of AgriScience with Honours

Bachelor of Environmental Management with Honours

Bachelor of Information Sciences with Honours

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Masters Degrees

120 or 240 credit degrees which may be available part-time or full-time. Study is at an advanced level and most frequently involves taught papers and a research thesis. Students advancing to a Masters degree after a Bachelor degree with Honours from a New Zealand University may elect to do a one year degree by thesis only. International students may be required to undertake a postgraduate diploma course in their intended major prior to entering the masters programme. Admission requires at least a B average.

Master of AgriCommerce

Master of AgriScience

Master of Applied Statistics

Master of Construction Management

Master of Dairy Science and Technology

Master of Engineering

Master of Engineering Studies

Master of Environmental Management

Master of Food Technology

Master of Information Sciences

Master of Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Master of Quality Systems

Master of Science

Master of Technology

Master of Veterinary Medicine

Master of Veterinary Science

Master of Veterinary Studies

Postgraduate Diploma

A course of study open to graduates or to those who have been able to demonstrate extensive practical, professional, or scholarly experience of an appropriate kind; comprising a coherent programme of not less than one year’s full-time study (or its equivalent in part-time study); which includes the requirement that the courses or other work prescribed shall be at an advanced level that builds on attainment in the academic field of the prior degree.

Postgraduate Diploma in AgriCommerce

Postgraduate Diploma in AgriScience

Postgraduate Diploma in Construction Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering

Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Food Technology

Postgraduate Diploma in Information Sciences

Postgraduate Diploma in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Resource and Environmental Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Quality Systems

Postgraduate Diploma in Science

Postgraduate Diploma in Technology

Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Science

Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Preventive Medicine

Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Public Health

Doctor of Philosophy

A research degree requiring a minimum of three years full-time or four years part-time. Admission is considered for graduates who have completed a Bachelor degree with at least Second Class Honours (First Division), a Masters degree with at least Second Class Honours (First Division), or a Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction. Candidates must also have recognised research experience.

Doctor of Philosophy

 

Research

Our research underpins advances in New Zealand’s industry, public health, biosecurity and animal welfare. We work with leading universities and industries worldwide.

We demand excellence in our research and bring together experts from several disciplines to focus on four fields to further knowledge and make a difference in New Zealand and the world. Those fields are:


•Agriculture, Veterinary and Life Sciences
•Land, Water and the Environment
•Industrial Innovation through Engineering and Technology
•Natural and Fundamental Sciences


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We diagnose and treat animals, and provide consultancy to industry.


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Contact

vet@massey.ac.nz
Tel +64 6 350 4525
Fax +64 6 350 5636

Head of Institute Professor Paul Kenyon

Dean of Veterinary Sciences Professor Tim Parkinson

Associate Dean of BVSc Dr Jenny Weston

Associate Dean of Animal Sciences       
Dr Dave Thomas

Associate Dean BVetTech Mr Brett Smith

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences
College of Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North
4442
NEW ZEALAND

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CONTACT

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences


College of Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North
4442
NEW ZEALAND


Email:
vet@massey.ac.nz

Website: http://www.massey.ac.nz/veterinary-and-animal-sciences_home

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