In Europe, there are special courses that teach how to feed cows. In Russia, due to the reduction of cattle livestock in private farmsteads, the work of a shepherd has lost its former relevance. But the need for grazing remained. And not always electronic shepherds or GPS-devices can replace a living person. This article will discuss what skills the shepherd should have, how to prepare animals for the transition from stall to feeding on pasture, about the methods of grazing.
It would seem that it could be easier than grazing cows. You lie in the shade and drive a blade of grass in your mouth. And the cows in the meadow at this time peacefully nibble weed. But not everything is as simple as we would like.
No wonder shepherd labor was held in high esteem in the old days. He did not just accompany the flock to the place of grazing and back. This person should have known herbs that can be eaten by animals, and which ones are contraindicated. He possessed veterinary skills to help the cattle, if necessary, right in the field.
Among other things, the shepherd should have been able to ride a horse. Now these requirements remain relevant.
While the cows are grazing in the meadow, the shepherd must control their feeding. It is necessary to ensure that they have a drink, to eliminate the likelihood of poisoning with pesticides, which are treated plants. And also it is necessary to monitor the state of health of animals, to quickly respond to its changes.
Conversion of cows to pastures
Cows are brought to pasture in spring when the first grass appears. Back in a stall in the cold animals are translated from mid-autumn. The time frame for the beginning and end of cattle grazing may vary depending on the region of the country.
Summer content eagerly await all owners cows. After all, bringing cows to pasture means reducing the cost of milk by a third. But at the same time, the risks associated with livestock diseases also grow significantly. So, in addition to poisoning, there is a likelihood of developing tympania (swelling of the scar).
The behavior of a cow in pasture requires constant monitoring.
This is a dangerous disease that develops rapidly and in the worst case leads to death. The most common causes of bloating is that cows on the field eat grass in the rain or after it, or simply overeat.
That is why the behavior of cows on pasture requires constant monitoring. In order to prevent diseases and to prepare animals for summer grazing, their transfer from the stall should be carried out gradually.
On the first day, it is recommended to take the cow to pasture for 1-2 hours, in the following days to increase this time, bringing it to one to two weeks to 10-12 hours.
It is desirable for the cow to graze in the morning and after lunch. At noon, when the sun is most active, the animals should be either in the barn or in the open air, but in the shade.
Features of feeding in the summer
Emerging shoots in the fields do not mean that feeding the cows during the summer period can be allowed to take its course, this process has its own characteristics.
When a cow grazes on a good pasture, she is able to eat more than 50 kg of grass. Despite this, animals first need feeding, since the young grass does not contain a sufficient amount of nutrients and trace elements. Lure should consist of:
- hay rich in fiber;
- ground grain cereals containing minerals;
- salt (source of sodium and chlorine);
- phosphorus-calcium fertilization.
Different grazing options for cows
If you own one or two cows, then you are able to organize their own grazing. This is permissible if there is a suitable field with grass, and in order for the beast not to disperse it is possible to use a leash. In this case, you need to take into account that periodically grazing animals need to be moved around the meadow, then there will not be excessive contamination of the territory with their excrement. In addition, an attached burenka must have access to water.
If there is a need to graze the whole herd, and suitable pastures are 2-3 km away from the farm, it is advisable to organize a summer camp. It allows animals not to waste energy on long hauls, which adversely affect the production of milk.
The camp should be located in the center of the pasture where the flock is grazing. Be sure to have a reservoir, preferably with running water. If it is not there, then in the camp for cattle it is necessary to organize containers with water so that animals can freely come and drink.
There is a plowing method for grazing cows. Grass is sown on large plots of land, then several pens are separated. When it comes time to shepherd, the animals are sent by the shepherd to one pen. After they eat grass on it, the cows move to the next pen.
The territory of the first is cleaned from pollution, and on it grows fresh grass.
Nuances to consider with any grazing method
It should be remembered that very tall plants are hard for animals to eat. The cow nibbles the grass about 15 cm high most willingly.
Some farms prefer round-the-clock keeping of cows on pasture, about the features of which can be found in the article: "About pasture maintenance of cattle."
The shepherd should always remember that cows in the field often disperse, so he must ensure that the animals do not get out of the herd, do not fall into a ravine and into fields with agricultural crops.
In addition, the shepherd has to take into account how the cow behaves, what her character. Some individuals are calm and peaceful-minded, and some, on the contrary, are very obstinate, can kick and butt. They are either tied or tied to their feet with a rope.
There are certain nuances concerning how to feed the cow properly with the offspring. The calf should be grazed next to mom. Do not allow other animals to approach them. Yes, and the shepherd himself should stay away from them.
These requirements are caused by the aggressive behavior of the cow, which protects and protects its calf.
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