Category: Cattle

How to Install an Electric Fence in the Right Way

With an electric fence system, you ensure that your animals are well protected in the pasture. The animals should not run away and at the same time, they must be protected from outside attackers. The harmless electric shocks that the electric fences cause when animals or people touch them. Nevertheless, they cause respect to fear of repeated touching of the fence. Thus, they not only physically keep animals away from the fence, but also serve as a psychological barrier.

In our guide, we explain what you need to think about when installing electric fencing so that it works perfectly for your circumstances.

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Cow Feeding Ration

When organizing the feeding ration of cattle, it is necessary to take into account the feeding rates available on the farm and the amount of nutrients in them. The fodder base must be formed in such a way that the diet of cows consists of a variety of components and includes a balanced diet of juicy, roughage and concentrated feed, which must contain all the necessary nutrients for the body. Balancing is performed for such nutritional elements as protein, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The lack of minerals and microelements (sodium, calcium, phosphorus, etc.) in the diet is compensated by the use of special additives. With a lack or excess of at least one component, the degree of use of nutrients of the entire diet worsens, and as a result, the productivity of the animal decreases.

The need for balancing the feeding of cows is to meet the daily needs of the herd herd with sufficient nutrients. It is considered balanced if the food received within 24 hours contains in total the daily norm of nutrients and vitamins necessary for the animal.

When compiling a diet for cattle, the following are mainly used: hay, straw, silage, haylage, green, concentrated and combined dry feed. The composition of the diet should include high quality feed, which will ensure high productivity of animals, good feed payment and increase reproduction. With industrial livestock management, the need for the correct composition of the feed mixture increases.

Compiling a balanced diet with a large number of standardized ingredients requires a significant investment of time and the availability of highly qualified specialists with the ability to perform a large number of computational operations. The solution to the problem can be the use of modern technologies, which consist in the introduction of a computer program into the economy for compiling rations for a small number of animal indicators.

The main information when calculating the diet using a computer program are:

  1. The type, age and productivity of the animal.
  2. The amount of feed and feed additives on the farm.
  3. Chemical composition and nutritional value of feed.
  4. Detailed norms (daily requirement of a specific group of animals for energy and nutrients).
  5. The time period for which the diet is calculated (pasture, stall or monthly).
  6. The maximum amount of individual feed and additives in the diet.
  7. Allowable limits on total energy demand.
  8. The cost of the feed used, etc.

Thus, the feeding ration of cows, calculated using modern computer technologies at the livestock complex, contributes to a significant increase in the quality of nutrition, a decrease in time and effort in calculating, and allows you to take into account changes in the animal’s needs for nutrients at different levels of productivity, physiological state, lactation period, age, body weight and other factors.

Loose Cow Keeping

Loose cow housing is most often used on a farm with a large livestock (400 or more). The method provides for keeping animals on a farm without fixation in stalls and a given milking area (milking parlor). Thus, the animals are provided with free movement both indoors and on walking areas. Thus, a condition is created for animals that is optimally suitable for their natural life and for industrial milk production.

Depending on the climatic zone, loose content has its own characteristics. So, for example: in warm areas, it is preferable to use transforming-type premises (with opening walls) with the organization of feeding on walking areas. In the northern regions, animals are kept in capital buildings, with regular walking, depending on weather conditions.

Benefits of loose cow housing

  1. High labor productivity. At the best dairy farms in the country using this method, the cost of producing 1 liter of milk is 1.1-2.9 people / hour, and the workload per worker is 30-45 heads. The main reason for such indicators is the mechanization and automation of all labor-intensive processes.
  2. The cows do not need additional grazing (internal movements are sufficient). Costs for shepherds and other workers to organize walks are excluded.

Disadvantages of loose content

  1. Lack of qualified personnel able to work on modern, computerized programs and equipment.
  2. A clear and organized zootechnical and veterinary service is needed due to the constant contact of animals with each other.
  3. Increase in feed consumption by 5-7% compared to tethered content (associated with the activity of the animal and with technological losses).

Steps to be taken for effective loose housing:

  1. Provide physiological comfort to the animal.
  2. Complete, balanced feeding using computer programs.
  3. Minimization of stressful situations in the herd (everyone must be dehydrated).
  4. Division of the herd into physiological groups and compliance with all recommendations for each group.
  5. Using feed tables instead of standard feeders, which will reduce the time for distributing feed (1-2 times), and reduce the cost of feeding in general.
  6. To increase the volume of feeding by 7-8% in comparison with the tethered method. If the basic rules are observed, the productivity of animals is increased by 30%.

Milking cows in loose housing

The number of milking machines, their brand and productivity are selected based on the number of dairy cows, the number of each physiological group. It should be borne in mind that a single milking of the entire herd should not exceed 3-3.5 hours. Milking parlors should be designed so that milked cows do not collide with cows entering for milking. It is required to ensure the free exit of the animal after milking to the section of the group or to the walking area.

As a result of improving the technology of keeping, strengthening the fodder base, with the purchase of high-performance machines in the near future, it is predicted that farms with loose housing of dairy cows will increase by about 15% of the total dairy herd in the country.

The choice of how to maintain the livestock of dairy cows always remains with the farmer, taking into account economic, organizational and many other aspects, because optimal technological solutions for organizing the milk production process have both ways.

Methods of Keeping Cattle

There are two ways of keeping cattle: tethered and loose.

Anchor content. Animals are housed in stalls, on a leash, with or without bedding. Feeding and drinking takes place in stalls or in the milking parlor. The area of ​​the stall for cows at commercial enterprises should be 1.7-2.3 sq.m., for breeding enterprises – 2.1-2.4 sq.m. (the width and length of the stalls are 1.0-1.2 and 1.7-1.9 m-1 2 and 1.8-2.0 m, respectively).

Loose content. Cattle are kept in groups throughout the year (or in certain seasons) in specially equipped premises with walking and fodder yards, without a leash, on a deep permanent bedding or in boxes (with solid or slotted floors in the aisles). In the sections, each cow has 4-5 sq.m. (commercial farms), boxing area – 1.9-2.5 sq.m. (width – 1.0-1.2; length – 1.9-2.1 m) at commodity and breeding enterprises.

In cattle breeding, the following maintenance systems are used: stall-pasture, stall-walking and flow-shop.

Stable-pasture system. Animals are kept in stationary rooms; in winter and transitional periods, they are provided with walks in the corral or active exercise, and in summer they graze on pasture. For the summer period, animals are transferred to specially equipped camps: with grazing (pasture-camp keeping) or using a green conveyor (stall-camp keeping).

Stable-walking system. It is used in areas with a large plowed land when it is impossible to rationalize the organization of grazing and summer camps. Animals are kept indoors. PM provide a daily walk on the walking grounds or organize an active exercise on special runs or in mechanized installations. In summer, it is possible to feed the animals in the walking-fodder yards.

Flow-shop system. For intensification of production, taking into account the physiological state of animals is of particular importance. On large mechanized farms, separate technological groups are formed: dry, maternity, insemination and milk production, production.

Cows and heifers arrive at the dry mill 50 days before calving. Keep them loose or on a leash. Be sure to organize an active exercise.

Animals are transferred to the maternity department 5-7 days before the expected birth. This workshop has one or two maternity wards with a dispensary for calves. In the maternity ward, the following sectors are provided: prenatal (with individual machines), generic (with stall boxes) and postpartum.

The delivery box has a width of 3 m, a length of 3.0-3.5, a height of 1.7 m. It is pre-cleaned, disinfected, covered with a clean, good-quality bedding. The cow is transferred to the box 24 hours before delivery and is kept untied. After the calf is born, the cow licks it thoroughly. The newborn receives colostrum from the mother’s udder. This is very important, since colostrum contains antibodies that increase the calf’s body resistance to various diseases, including infectious ones. It is advisable to keep him with his mother for 3-5 days, with the obligatory milk of the cows (at least 3 times a day). Delivery in boxes has a positive effect on the health of calves and cows.

After weaning from their mothers, the calves are transferred to individual cages or semi-boxes of the dispensary. One section of the dispensary should have no more than 20 calf cages. Each section of the dispensary is filled within 2-4 days. Here the animals are kept for 10-15 days, then they are transferred to a calf shed or sent to other farms. The vacated sections are cleaned, washed, disinfected, bleached and dried for 2-3 days (“biological rest”). This system is called “everything is empty – everything is busy.” From the age of twenty, calves are kept in group cages. They are provided with daily exercise from two weeks of age.