The many ways of cow comfort

Written by Rebecca Frazier
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Happy cows make happy farmers and to keep cows happy, they need to be comfortable. Cow comfort is an area that farmers pay very close attention to. When their girls are happy, they produce more milk. Therefore, dairy farmers are very attentive to the needs of their cows. There are many effective practices in place that have improved cow comfort and milk production, allowing farmer to be more profitable and successful. Below are a few ways that optimize cow comfort.

Fans
Heat stress on dairy cows is a large concern for farm operations. Cows are not able to produce as much milk when overheated, which can start at an outside temperature of 65 degrees. Fans, sprinklers and shade are all ways to reduce stress induced by heat. Not only does this cut production losses, but it will also make cows more comfortable and allow them to produce more. To read more about heat stress, click here.

Water
More than 90 percent of milk is water, which makes it essential for cows to have. Fresh water access is key to cow comfort. This reduces heat stress and provides them with an essential nutrient to produce wholesome milk. To read more about cow comfort, click here.

Robotic milking
Robotic milkers have been on the rise in recent years, taking the stress of labor and time away from farmers. They have also been shown to increase cow comfort, as cows can be milked on their own time. Many robotic milkers have back scratchers and feed pushers that make a trip to the milker seem like a spa day for the cows. To read more about robotic milking, click here.

Bedding
There are many types of bedding for cattle. One of the growing trends is compost-bedded pack barns. This is an alternative type of dairy housing that is built on clay rather than concrete. Beds are packed with a mixture of soft-wood shaving and sawdust. One farm family, the Smith’s, choose to implement this type of bedding when they upgraded their barn and immediately saw cow comfort improve. To read about the Smith’s story, click here.

Overall, cow comfort is a top priority for dairy farmers. Their livelihood depends on the happiness of their cows, therefore they seek to provide the highest quality care they can.

For more on cow comfort, click here.

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