Felipe Henrique de Padua Santos

M.Sc. (Thesis) student

I am currently a M.Sc. thesis student in dairy cow behaviour and welfare under Dr. Trevor DeVries’s supervision. My interest in dairy cattle started while completing my B.Sc. in Animal Science at the Sao Paulo State University in Brazil. I worked as an Undergraduate Student Research Assistant for Dr. Vasconcelos, working more than 2,000 hours in research with dairy cattle. In my last semester of my program, I was hired by Cargill to help in a feed experiment with dairy cattle. After this internship, I was hired to continue with Cargill in the field where I worked for one year and my desire for working with research led me to meet with Dr. DeVries. I worked for Dr. DeVries as a visiting student between 2016 and 2018, doing more than 2,000 hours of internship, which sparked my interest in the graduate studies.

My research focuses on an alternative to reduce the negative impact of regrouping lactating cows. Dairy cows have a complex hierarchy and like to have their own routine. However, cows need to be regrouped and disrupts their hierarchy, causing a lot of stress for all cows in the group. Cows who experience this type of stress decrease their dry matter intake and milk production. My research will test a feed addictive to reduce the negative impacts of regrouping. My trial will feed two pens for 18 weeks, one with a placebo additive and one with a feed additive in the Elora Research Station.  Through feeding behaviour, social behaviour, and milk production, the efficacy of this feed additive can be determined. My research will help farmers to improve cow welfare and reduce the costs of the negative impacts of regrouping. When I finish my M.Sc., I hope to work in the dairy industry.

During my free time, I practice my favourite sport, Brazilian Jiu jitsu. I also enjoy watching soccer, keeping myself updated with Brazil’s news, hanging out with my friends and family.