The Importance of Choosing the Right ‘Cow Comfort’ Products
As agriculture continues to evolve into the 21st century, farmers are constantly looking for more ways to improve their yields.
We’ve seen all kinds of technology, even motion-tracking collars which have promised to increase milk production, but if there’s one thing that has always held true, it’s that happy cows are productive cows.
It can be easy to forget just how much hard work it can be for cows to produce milk. For example, for every 50 litres of milk a cow produced, they have to pump no less than 25,000 litres of blood to their udders.
When you take into account that they’re often expected to do this every day, it stands to reason that we need them to be in the best shape possible.
The benefits are really twofold though, as not only does keeping your cows healthy and comfortable help them produce on a day to day basis, but it also means that they’ll live longer.
Creating a comfortable environment
The best way to keep cows comfortable and healthy is by creating the correct environment.
This means providing a soft clean area for them to rest, as well as even, safe flooring that will allow them to move around freely without danger of slipping.
For example, you can purchase rubber cow matting such as these from Shield Agriculture.
These special mats not only allow the cow to feel like they are lying in pasture, but are also hygienic and can easily be hosed down.
Creating a space as close as possible to their natural environment is key, and the cows must be allowed to walk around naturally and stand up and lie down at will.
Bear in mind that due to the way they stand up, cows will require at least 0.5 metres of extra space in front of their head in their stall to properly rise.
Of course, food and drink are also of paramount importance, as cows can eat as many as 12 times a day, so ensuring that your cows have good quality feed and clean water is key.
Also make sure that the feed and water are easily accessible, as it’s no good if the cows can’t get to it.
Make sure that there is the right amount of space between the cow and the manger or trough, and consider tilting the feed to make it easier on the cow.
As for water, cows require at least three litres for every litre of milk that they produce.
Make sure you use clean, fresh water, as if you wouldn’t drink it, then why should your cows!
Also bear in mind ventilation for the barn that the cows are being kept in. If it’s too warm or too cold, you’ll notice production dropping.
Generally speaking, if the temperature rises above 25°C, then cows will start to focus their energy on keeping cool rather than producing milk, and the same applies if it’s tool cold.
The air must also be fairly free of moisture, gas from manure, pathogens and dust, which can all damage your cows if inhaled.
Remember that good ventilation can be achieved both through fans, but also through curtains and screens.
For more information on how important ventilation is to your cattle, check out this article from Independent.ie.
There are plenty of changes that you can make, both little and large, that will result in happier cows, and more milk, leaving everybody happy!