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Conference abstract, 2008

Working to fatten calves in Sweden: working time, working environment and managerial style

Bostad, Elise; Swensson, Christian; Pinzke, Stefan


During the last two decades the human consumption of beef in Sweden has increased. A concurrent decrease of beef production made the Swedish supply of red meat in 2007 only 55% of the total national consumption. With the increasing national and global demand for meat, the study had the aim to enhance the sustainability of the Swedish beef production. Short-term aims were to improve labour utilization and farm work logistics. A long-term aim was to increase farm efficiency and reduce work strain and hazard risks. An additional aim was to design a cost estimation guide for use at investments or renewals of cattle farms in terms of safe, labour saving organization and implements. Through semi-structured questionnaires 50 out of 80 farms producing 50-1100 calves per year were analysed for working time, working routines, physical and psychosocial factors. Possible relations between labour expense and managerial styles, motivations and attitudes of the individual farmer were investigated. Ten of the 30 largest farms were chosen for field studies with in-depth recordings during daily and seasonal work tasks. Physical work environmental factors like awkward postures and movements related to the work task and its repetitiveness were recorded and analyzed in association to the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Preliminary results show that there is no clear correlation between labour use and the herd size when it exceeds 500 calves per year. Physical strain and hazard risk tends to be lower in calf production compared to working with larger beef cattle such as bulls and suckler cows

Published in


The 10th World Conference on Animal Production

Authors' information

Bostad, Elise
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Rural Buildings and Animal Husbandry [LBT]
Swensson, Christian
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Buildings and Animal Husbandry
Pinzke, Stefan

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

URI (permanent link to this page)