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Cows are kept in different ways - tethered, loose or stall. Each of them has certain pros and cons. Tie-on cows are understood as a fairly progressive method that can significantly increase milk yield. At the same time, it is important to provide the cow with good housing conditions. This will help to achieve high productivity and avoid the development of pathologies.
Features of tethered keeping of cows
This option for keeping cows is considered traditional. The main point is that the cow in the barn is tied up in the stall. This helps to secure the animal in the desired position during feeding or milking. This method has different types. The animal can be tied for a whole year. There is also a combination of the tethered method with walking. In addition, there is an option when the cows are released to pasture in the summer.
For dairy breeds, this method is considered the most preferable, especially with a large livestock, which will number more than 150 individuals. Moreover, each pet is located in a separate stall, which slightly exceeds its dimensions in length. A drinker and a feeder are placed near the head. In this case, tying the cow is easy.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Stall equipment is placed at the back. It provides fast disposal of feces. Milking a cow is permissible right on the spot. However, this uses portable equipment.
The best fixing method is to use a metal chain. Its length should not interfere with adequate access to water and food, but it limits the motor activity of cattle. Therefore, the likelihood of injury is minimized. The use of this method allows for each individual to select an individual diet, taking into account the general condition and productivity parameters.
Advantages and disadvantages
the possibility of reducing the amount of feed due to a sedentary lifestyle - on average, the amount of savings is 15%;
balanced diet for all groups of animals;
quick identification of sick animals - this can be done not only by the doctor, but also by the farmer or milkmaid;
increase in milk yield - this parameter can be increased by almost 25%;
an increase in the weight gain of heifers - this figure rises by 15%;
Simplification of pet care - achieved through automated milking and the same distribution of feed.
the need to increase the number of workers - first of all, cattlemen;
the risk of impaired digestive functions and decreased performance;
the danger of a violation in the structure of bones and skeleton;
weakening of the immune system;
increase in the percentage of barrenness;
problems with the tolerance of such content in pregnant cows.
Tethered cow housing is considered to be more gentle than stall housing. In this case, the animals are constantly in the barn.
In order to choose a suitable containment method, it is worth analyzing the advantages of tethered and stallless content. In order to limit the locomotor activity of cows during tethered housing, it is recommended to equip each stall with a locking mechanism. At the same time, the main requirement for a leash is considered to ensure a high level of personnel safety, minimize the risk of traumatic injuries to animals, the ability to stand and lie down for cows. It is recommended to secure the cows with a tie. In this case, the chain is attached to the collar.
When building a stall, you should focus on the average size of animals. Optimization of the manure removal system is of no small importance. Long stalls are usually built on farms. Their size should be 1.9-2 meters. They should be equipped with a concrete feeder and partially freed from the fences. Such an organization requires 20-25% of the time spent on maintenance.
A suitable stall option with front and side restraints is considered to be 5-10 centimeters less than the oblique length of the cow's body. This helps to reduce the time required to clear the manure and reduce the risk of contamination of the cow.
When organizing tethered housing, cowsheds are made with longitudinal placement of animals in 2 or 4 rows. This helps automate feeding, watering, milking and manure removal. Basement manure storages and flushing systems are used to cleanse the premises from feces.
When breeding animals using this method, it is important to use the stall equipment correctly. To do this, you should focus on the following criteria:
- the animal cannot leave the stall;
- the cow is securely fixed during feeding and milking;
- the animal freely leaves and enters the stall, not allowing other individuals there;
- animals are free to stand or lie within their part of the room;
- it is possible to freely remove food from the feeder;
- you can easily and quickly fix and untie individual animals or whole groups;
- workers have convenient and safe access to cows;
- farm staff keep the pets clean with minimal effort to clean the stalls.
It is definitely worth taking care of using the correct milking machines. They are of the following types:
- portable - used on farms with relatively small livestock;
- milking system - used in large livestock complexes.
The advantages of milking machines include:
- high rates of milking;
- minimal need for staff.
It is also important to take care of the installation of the drinkers. The water requirement is influenced by the type of feed and its nutritional value. Also, the amount of liquid drunk depends on the physiological state of the cow, humidity and temperature parameters. 1 kilogram of dry food requires 5 liters of water.
When choosing drinkers, you should give preference to the following options:
- plastic - they have a low cost, but are considered fragile;
- cast iron - crack with a strong blow;
- steel - are considered the most demanded.
When constructing a feeder, it is worth choosing the right length. It should be equal to the width of the stall, which is 1.1-1.2 meters. The feeder should be installed 7-8 centimeters above the floor. It looks like a gutter box in appearance.
There are folding, lifting and fixed feeders. The most convenient option is considered to be a folding one, in which the side walls rise. This makes it easier to clean the product from feed residues. Such models are made from dense materials. Therefore, they are easy to clean and disinfect.
The specifics of the content in winter
Raising cows on livestock farms in the winter has certain characteristics. During this period, it is recommended to walk pets in the pen for 2-3 hours. At the same time, they should be given a rough top dressing.
Tethered cow housing is considered a common method. This technique can be used for dairy breeds. It helps to increase the productivity of animals. At the same time, it is important to organize the space as correctly as possible and provide the cattle with proper care.