CHANGING THE WORLD WITH INNOVATIVE RESEARCH
Livestock Behavior & Welfare
Early work was on the design and construction of cattle and pig handling facilities for slaughter plants and feedlots. Dr. Grandin designed the center track conveyor restrainer that handles half of all the beef cattle in large U.S. beef plants. She also developed an objective scoring system for assessing welfare during slaughter, which is used internationally. Her research group did some of the initial studies that showed that cattle with a calm temperament have higher weight gain and better beef quality. Other works include demonstrating that good management of dairy free stalls reduces hock lesions and preventing behaviorial agitation shortly before slaughter helps to improve pork quality in pigs. Another study of beef cows showed that there were individual differences in how the mother defends her calf.