Seeing cows sleeping is a common occurrence for villagers. But the townspeople can hardly imagine this process. The type and method of resting cattle varies significantly and depends on the conditions of detention. Animals in a stall are tethered to sleep more often. When the gregarious content of the cows rest a little, having the opportunity to fully sleep only from 22 pm to 4 am. And during the day they only occasionally “fill up”, often in a standing position.
Resting hierarchy of cattle
Cows are herd animals, and, as in any team, they have a clearly defined hierarchy. Dominant individuals can oppress others, and individuals who are on the same level of the hierarchy can fight for their position in the community.
This behavior is most often manifested during feeding and rest. Dominant cattle always takes the best place in the common stall, while other animals have to find a free corner. There are cases when cows slept in a pen, not approaching the leader closer than 5 m.
If there is no suitable place in the stall to lie down, then the animals can sleep even while standing. However, they often do not close their eyes, although they are in a state of full sleep.
Regular sleep while standing up negatively affects the psyche of the cow, making it more agitated, which inevitably affects productivity, which can drop by 20%.
The cow sleeps very well and is capable of dreaming, as evidenced by its periodic sighing and movement of the eyeballs.
If a cow has the opportunity to lie down in a comfortable and clean stall, she is able to completely shut off for a few minutes, becoming completely insensitive to external irritations.
The physical condition of the animal itself plays an enormous role in quality sleep. If a cow in a dream sighs heavily, then you should immediately show it to the vet. Cattle are very hardy animals and try not to demonstrate the perceived pain. It is in a dream that they lose control, which allows the owner to identify an animal at risk and quickly help him with treatment.
Sound sleep improves animal performance
Farmers engaged in breeding cattle, believe that when breeding animals for meat, they can be given to sleep longer. And dairy cows should move more to improve health and increase milk productivity.
Today there are no criteria for determining how much a cow sleeps and how much time it takes to rest. Everyone is inclined to believe that the cows need to sleep in the supine state at night for at least 5-6 hours. The rest of the process of getting enough sleep can occur on the pasture before and immediately after the day of milking.
With a stall, it is not difficult to organize the process of daytime sleep, but each of the cows must be provided with an individual stall so as not to conflict with neighboring animals.
Remember that in the absence of a comfortable bed, cows that are at the same level of the hierarchy will certainly start to clash and fight, hurting each other and reducing their productivity.
Important factors affecting cow sleep are:
- bright light;
- strong drafts;
- increased noise level;
- painful condition;
- presence of predatory animals nearby.
Mandatory walk before bedtime
If the cows are kept in a stall-tethered way, then they have the opportunity to sleep in the period between milking and feeding. Most often they try to lie down, but they can sleep and stand with their eyes open. On average, cows spend in their sleep from 7 to 12 hours a day.
It should be remembered that prolonged sleep also adversely affects the health of cattle, as well as lack of sleep. Experienced breeders try to arrange walking of animals in tied condition, driving them every day for several hours around the barn.
At this time, workers have the opportunity to clean the stall and replace the litter with a fresh one. The animals returning from such a walk almost immediately go to bed and rest very well. At this time, it is recommended to make no unnecessary noise, giving the cows the opportunity to sleep through as much time as they need for a full-fledged recuperation.
For cattle bred for meat, on the contrary, the most comfortable conditions for sleeping are created. Such animals lose less calories by processing feed into muscle mass.
Cows love silence
Cows, like other animals, are very fond of silence. Spending time for night and midday sleep in cattle, you need to take care to minimize external noise. At this time, it is not recommended to use various mechanisms when cleaning the barn, or to bring up food.
Scientific studies have shown that poorly sleepy cows experience psychological discomfort, are more prone to stress, and the amount of milk they produce is significantly reduced.
In some cases, it takes at least two weeks to restore the mental state of livestock.
In recent years, many average farmers prefer to build barns in which up to 50 animals can be placed simultaneously. It is easier to clean such rooms when walking cows, replacing litter, clean the feeding troughs from the old fodder and fill them with new ones, as well as organize the delivery of fodder and manure removal.
It should be borne in mind that cattle reacts not only to the sounds of scraper conveyors, feed distributors, tractors, but also to noise made by people.
Some manufacturers claim that dairy cows are very sensitive to classical music, which increases their yield. However, during sleep, loud music can disturb the psyche of animals.
Therefore, during the period of sleep, animals are not recommended to speak loudly and it is strictly forbidden to include loud music.
If you decide to breed cattle, it should be noted that sleep is no less important element of the cow than correct feeding and milking.
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