Decision making

Caring for dairy cows: Healthy cows are happy cows.

Dairy farming focuses on raising cows for the production of milk and other dairy products. The care of the cows is an important part of successful dairy farming. Cows should be provided with clean and comfortable housing, fresh water, food and medical attention when necessary.

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Feeding and Drinking

You may not have known that dairy cows can eat up to 100 pounds of food per day. Some farmers allow their cows to graze on grass or provide them alfalfa hay, but many also choose to supplement their cows diets with mixed ration feeds including con, soybeans, sorghum and other grains to provide additional nutrients and fiber.

Cows can also drink as much as 50 gallons of water each day. This makes it important for dairy cows to have a clean and accessible water.

Dairy cows comfort and housing.

Cows require a lot of time to rest and digest their food, so dairy farmers provide cows with a variety of bedding options. Some of the products used include sawdust, sand, shredded and recycled tire rubber, dried manure that’s been pressed and sanitised and some barns even have waterbed style mattresses.

Keeping dairy cows cool, especially in the summer time is important in keeping milk production up. Many farmers equip their cow barns with fans and sprinkler or mister systems.

Barns can also be outfitted with large automated brushes so that cows can walk up and activate the rotating bristles to scratch their heads or bodies whenever they want.

Medical care

Cattle care in dairy farming also require medicines like antibiotics. Dairy farmers work closely with their veterinarians who perform regular herd check to make sure the cows are healthy.

When dairy cows get sick the vets may prescribe medicine like antibiotics. Those medicines are carefully administered and closely regulated and the treated cows are separated from the rest of the milking herd so that their milk never reaches the food supply.

Newborns and young calves are housed separately from heifers and adults so they receive proper nutrition, medical care and protection from accidental injuries by larger cows. Calves are bottle fed for several weeks to months until they are weaned and eventually given feed like older cows. They also receive vaccinations to protect them from diseases.

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