Talking about cow comfort involves listening to and understanding numerous opinions on this issue. But what is real cow comfort? How can it be judged? And maybe even more importantly, how can it contribute to profitable dairy farming?
Recently researchers and producers have put more attention on creating a comfortable environment for dairy cows and their replacements. Observation and experience show that cows housed in a comfortable environment produce more milk and generally live healthier, longer lives.
Cows can’t explain what makes them comfortable
But we can observe and measure cow activity, behaviour and environment – then correlate our observations with what appear to be comfortable cows.
Cows should have plenty of quality feed and water, fresh air, a soft and clean resting surface plus sound footing. Now that’s cow comfort! Cows should behave naturally and stand or lie down easily. Is that happening in your dairy? Mastitis, sore feet, rubbed necks, and rubbed or swollen hocks can indicate cow comfort problems.
In this Efficient Cow Comfort booklet, you will find all the basic information about cow comfort based on the behaviour and needs of cows. Cow comfort is not a product or a tool – it is what is happening in and around the barn 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Seasonal variations influence it.
Above all, cow comfort should be judged and managed with knowledge. Please read this booklet and find out how cow comfort can contribute to your profitability. Tell your DeLaval contact person your thoughts and together we will make dairy farming profitable and comfortable.