MONTREAL, Quebec – Jan. 20, 2016 – PRLog — Dairy farms with cow-comfort issues usually suffer from poorer reproduction, higher cull rates, lower production, more disease, and higher somatic cell counts or clinical mastitis. By contrast, stress-free cows eat, rest, and milk well, and are unlikely to get sick … which begs the questions: what causes stress in cows and what can dairy farmers do to alleviate it?
To identify stressors, the installation of time-lapse cameras can be of great value. For example, discomfort – often a root cause of lameness on dairy farms – may be discovered if films show cows in their stalls laying down or standing for hours on end. Ask your veterinarian to critically evaluate the comfort of your facilities and the lameness on your farm.
Cows also dislike being crowded; a shortage of beds and lack of space at the feed bunk create stress. Keeping stocking density at levels appropriate for your pen size and bunk space will help reduce stress. It is also advisable to assess cooling and ventilation on all areas of your dairy before spring and summer heat stress occurs. Inadequate watering space can cause great stress when cows are thirsty and barred from the trough by a boss cow or are turned off by pollutants. Evaluate the availability of water space and the locations of your water troughs. Video can reveal whether a particular water trough is being avoided, help you figure out why … and help establish where to move it.
When returning to their pens, do your cows return to fresh feed or do they wait anxiously? Video can help determine whether feed is available when they want it. And clean, nourishing feed is of utmost importance. Spoiled silage is the last thing you need if you want to keep them happy and, even more important, healthy.
Silage must be protected from contaminants (in soil, wind, rain, stagnant water, etc.). The optimum method: polyethylene bunker silo covers using 100% nylon, bias ply truck-tire sidewalls as bunker silo weights. And for that, you need Danny Nadler of Tire Sidewall Depot. Danny has been filling the need for safer, more sanitary bunker silo covers since 1995. Tire Sidewall Depot offers 100% nylon, bias ply truck-tire sidewalls as user-friendly, cost effective and cleaner alternatives to less efficient whole tires.
Removing the obstacles that create stress in your cows is a positive step towards a happier herd, improved productivity and reduced disease. Contact Danny; he’s got what you need to help relieve stress in your cows and on your farm.