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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Heat stress is a major concern for calves. Research has proven calves suffer from heat stress in much the same way cows do. A calf’s temperature threshold can be easily reached during summer months.

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Is your farm energy-efficient? How can you tell? If you add up all of your electricity use for a year that is used for milk harvesting or cow housing and divide by the number of milking cows, you will likely be in the range of 800 to 1,200 kilowatt-hours per cow per year.

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What are the most important aspects to keeping cows comfortable? How can dairy farmers realistically improve cow comfort? Why is comfort such a focus today?

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The first annual Indiana Dairy Forum, held in historic French Lick on Feb. 1-2, kicked off with an interactive, hands-on presentation to improve parlor function and milk quality featuring a milking system simulation, “Understanding Your Parlor’s Function,” by Dr. Roger Thomson from Battle Creek, Michigan.

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Providing a comfortable environment for the animals under our care is fundamental to what it means to be a good dairy farmer and is something we take pride in as an industry. This is one reason why cow comfort features prominently in dairy industry standards, including the Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program.

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When mowing hay, numerous management decisions contribute to total yield, forage quality and stand longevity.

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