Comfortable Housing of Dairy Cows-Basis for Health, Welfare and Biosecurity
Cow comfort is a function of the cow’s management of environment The housing for dairy cattle must provide a comfortable, clean, well-drained and dry lying area together with a shelter to protect them from adverse weather, space to allow the animal to move, lie down and rise freely as well as access to adequate food and water. The study is focused on the analysis of the importance of individual components of housing environment (microclimate, lying places, corridors, feeding, watering, milking, lighting and ventilation) paying attention to the welfare, health and biosecurity of dairy cows based on the result of monitoring that took place in two farms for dairy cows with similar free-stall bedding cubicle housing technology The parameters were evaluated by statistics software using the non-parametric tests. The impact of heat stress on a lactating cow, its comfort and productivity makes significant changes in the cattle behaviour. During the hot summer period (t > 25°C) in the relation to the spring period (t=8-i2°C) we proved the feeding time got decreased by 20 % (range 15-25), rumination by 16 % (range 12-20) and locomotion time by 2 % (range 1-3); and the standing time got increased by 30 % (range 22-38) so did the drinking time by 3 % (range 2-5). Higher producing cows are more sensitive to heat stress than lower producing cows, especially from the point of resting and standing activity. Overstocking (25 %) reduces the lying time by 10 % (range 8-12) and simultaneously increases the frequency of aggressive interactions by 2 0/0 (range 1-4), and increases standing time by 12 %.
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