Farm vet, Chris Just, of St Boniface Vets, discusses a few ways to make your cows more comfortable - happy cows means happy farmers.
"A mentor of mine always said 'Get your cows comfortable and everything else will fall into place'.
For the majority of herds that is straight forward enough during grazing season. For grazing cows, comfort will be all about your tracks/gateways and keeping milking time short and stress free.
For cows still housed in the summer months we need to keep an eye on temperature and humidity; in addition to ensuring lying areas are appropriate for comfort.
In the South West, humidity can be challenging, detectable losses in milk yield and fertility start in the low 20’s 0C, when humidity is above 80 per cent. If you don’t know the humidity and temperature in your cowsheds you may have a problem and this is certainly something we can help with.
Lame cows are not comfortable either and chronic lame cows may not be economic to keep with the current milk price, but if uneconomic cows are lame they can’t be transported legally. With dry conditions underfoot and the cheapest feed available in abundance (grass) now is the time to get cows with claw lesions (that have been grumbling on) sorted.
From deep horn resection to a full claw amputation, there is almost always an option; several vets in the practice have an interest in this area, so I would encourage you to give us a go and get those cows back in profit.
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In the meantime, please keep your eyes peeled for the latest on our sheep flock discussion groups. If you would like to get involved, please call us on 01363 772860"