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  • Jin Gan

Some Tips To Assess Dairy Cow Behavior

Some Tips To Assess Dairy Cow Behavior

Cow comfort has been receiving increased amount of attention from dairy farmers globally. Identify some of these cow behaviors and consider modifying some of these behaviors to help you identify issues with your herd.

1) Feeding

  • Decreasing the amount of time cow spends at feed bunk will cause many issues.

  • Some of the negative effects include ketosis or locomotion disorders.

2) Isolation

  • Isolation behavior where the cows do not mix with others may occur prior to calving.

  • Observe carefully as this indicates there are some issues.

3) Social

  • Within the herd, there will be social hierarchy.

  • Cows ranked in the lower hierarchy will be displaced at the feed bunk more often as compared to cows ranked in the higher hierarchy.

  • Take note as all cows should have equal opportunity at the feed bunk.

4) Drinking

  • During heat stress conditions, the cow water consumption increase.

  • However, cows will decrease time spent drinking prior to calving.

5) Standing

  • 1 week prior to calving, cows diagnosed with ketosis will spend more time standing.

6) Lying

  • Cows will increase number of lying bouts 6 hours prior to calving but will overall decrease time spent lying.

7) Tongue rolling

  • Increased in number of tongue rolling may indicate restrictive feeding.

8) Aggressive

  • As the feed bunk space decreases, the number of aggressive displacements at bunk increases.

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