• Jin Gan

3 Tips To Improve Cow Comfort


3 Tips To Improve Cow Comfort

Maximizing cow's comfort can help to increase milk production and improved health. Here are some tips to help improve cow's comfort:

1) Design and dimensions

  • The size of stall should allow the cow to stand up and lie down naturally.

  • If neck rails and brisket boards are used, they must be placed correctly to provide sufficient lunge space.

  • Your stall needs to be able to fit the largest cow, not the average-size cows.

  • If the stalls are too small, it will cause discomfort to the cows.

  • If the stalls are too big, it will provide cow comfort but it will also result in dirty stalls and cows which will increase the maintenance cost.

  • If the cows are comfortable, they will be either lying down or standing parallel in the stalls.

  • If cows are uncomfortable, they will be perching in the stalls and lying diagonally.

2) Bedding

  • When deciding what bedding to use, consider the price, availability, effects on cow comfort and manure handling system.

  • The goal is to minimize exposure to environmental mastitis and keep the cows dry and clean.

  • Generally, stall bases are either mattresses or deep bedded with sand.

  • When using mattresses, at least 3 inches of bedding should be on top of the stall base.

  • If using deep-bedded stalls, at least 6 inches of sand is required.

3) Stocking density

  • When a barn has more cows than stalls, then it is considered overstocked.

  • It is recommended to house fresh cows at around 80% stocking density.

  • Understocking provides no benefit while overstocking will create competition between cows for resources and it will inhibit the cow from behaving naturally.

  • Stocking density at the freestalls should never exceed 120%.

  • If the barn is overstocked, it will decrease time of cows resting and lying down.

  • More time spent standing leads to higher chances of lameness and it will also increase stress and reduce immune system.

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