Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Studying Cow Comfort

"Who's giving me my pedicure?"
Yesterday The Farmer went back to school. Sort of. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has several "Master" programs that farmers can take advantage of for different commodities like goats, beef cattle, and dairy. He already has his certification, but in order to keep it he has to do continuing education.

The session he attended was on cow comfort. Obviously we thought it would be about how we need a spa for the farm, farmers waving palm trees at us, and some pedi time. Not quite what they covered.

  • Mean Cow Lying Behavior was the first topic, and it wasn't about bad bovines telling fibs. Researchers measure all types of cow activities like the average time cows lie down. 
  • Stock density is about how many cows per area as opposed to comments about weight
  • Social status of cows can be broken into top, middle, and bottom in different places on the farm such as at the milk barn, feed areas, watering spots, and rest areas. My two cents: best seat for the TV is the prime seat in the middle
  • Fans and the heat. I'm hoping the next session includes air conditioning for barns.
All of these things have one goal and that is how can farmers create an environment that will make for happy cows. How well we eat, sleep, stand, and associate with other cows has an impact on milk production and our general sense of well being.

Life on a dairy farm is much more than milking us cows.

Agent 14, reporting from the Udder Side.

No comments:

Post a Comment