Of course, cows' stall maintenance is not as beneficial for animals as grazing. However, in our modern world with its scientific and technological achievements, the disadvantages of sedentary life can be reduced. This is a big plus for livestock breeders, because not everyone has access to extensive pastures for walking cattle, and when keeping cows in the room they are not needed. There are several types of stall content. At the same time, technologies allow providing an individual approach to cattle, when it is needed.
General information about the stall content
This method of keeping livestock is usually used in enterprises that are located in the suburbs. Plowed land is dominated here, and there is very little or no land for grazing. Thus, the pasture content of large populations is impossible.
Year-round maintenance in a stall is often practiced on farms with 600 or more animals. In general, this method is most often used during the fattening of bulls, but it is also not uncommon at dairy enterprises.
On farms, where animals live indoors all year round, they organize grounds for walking their cows, because at least some movement is necessary for the cattle. However, a sedentary lifestyle leads to negative consequences for livestock. Among them:
- constant stress;
- weak immunity;
- bone problems;
- digestive disorders and metabolism;
Among the advantages are the automation of most of the processes on the farm, compact placement of the enterprise and its engineering communications.
Keeping cattle in a tethered way
On the farms of cows in the room can contain in two ways: tethered and loose.
Fastened way is that cows live in separate stalls on a leash. There they are fed and milked. Usually the method is practiced on small farms of 100-200 heads.
The leash can be chain, clamp or automatic. Best last. It allows you to reduce labor costs by 2-3 times. Looks like a special automatic leash. When a cow is in a stall, a collar with a chain length of 40-50 centimeters is put on her head. At the other end of the chain is fixed pear, made of rubber. Its weight is 300 g. The cow, when it comes to a stall and leans towards the trough, automatically shifts this pear. That falls into a kind of trap, the animal is fixed.
When kept in a stall, each cow is laid: a feeder not less than 70 cm wide, a frame - to fix the leash, the leash itself, a convenient stall and a channel for manure removal. Usually the stalls are long (the floor is from 190 to 220 cm), but with tethered contents they are used and the stalls are shortened. Their length allows the animal to lie comfortably, and in the standing position the hind legs are on the grate closing the channel of the dung conveyor, and the manure falls right there.
Feeding and cleaning with tethering
This method of maintenance does not require cattle, as manure does not need to be manually removed. Exception only for delivery rooms. Natural waste is removed with the help of auger and scraper conveyors, and then loaded onto dump trucks, into trailers or taken to specially equipped bunkers on the same conveyors. Also used water wash, underground manure storage.
One of the advantages of tethering cattle is the ability to individually approach the diet of cows, given the age, productivity, weight and other parameters.
They feed animals in stalls with fixed or mobile feeders (in most enterprises, feeding is the duty of a milkmaid, and is performed manually). Portions are measured right in the feeders. In the cold season, cows get hay, silage, beets, straw. In the summer they are given a green mass and necessarily concentrated feed.
How are milking and walking tethered cows
Milking is also automated. Milking machines with the presence of a milk conduit (called ADM-8), or similar installations with portable buckets (AD-100) are used. The milk line is usually installed at a height of 180 cm. At the same time, it goes under a constant slope to the milk receiver. With a stall content from one cow, you can get from 5 to 8 thousand kg of milk per year.
The exercise of animals is a very important point if they spend most of their time indoors. On farms, where they practice tethering, special grounds for cattle walking are attached to the barns. They are covered with asphalt or concrete. Dairy cows per day must pass an active step of at least 2 km. Bulls, both manufacturers and repair, are driven through the circular corridors. For them, the load rate is higher - 3-4 hours of active walk.
Although such problems do not completely solve the problems of physical inactivity, they undoubtedly improve the health of livestock, smoothing out the harmful effects of stalling.
Binding content of calves and breeding animals
Young and breeding individuals require special conditions. Thus, young animals under the age of one year cannot live in a stall, whose length is less than 1.5 m, and its width is less than 0.8 m. Too large rooms are also unsuitable, since they can be dangerous for the cow and complicate care. For this reason, it is optimal to have mobile stalls that can expand and shrink.
For breeding cattle, the stall must be at least 2 m in length and 1.2 m in width. For bulls (any, including non-tribal), even more - 2.2 m by 1.6 m. The leash for bulls is better to use a chain because it is stronger, and males can sometimes rebel.
It should also be remembered that the maintenance of any number of animals in the stalls requires complete cleaning of the premises once every two weeks.
Loose housing livestock
The loose housing maintenance of KRS is considered more progressive and effective in comparison with tethered. Thanks to him, it is possible to reduce the share of manual labor, to mechanize processes. True, for the maintenance of the cows will need more space.
Cows without a leash can live in a common room, where they move freely. It is best in such conditions to young cows, not yet lactating, and calves. In animals that are raised in this way, stronger bones, muscles and immunity than in cattle living on a leash. In the barn without a stall you can accommodate more animals, but remember: each of them needs at least 8 square meters. m square.
The floor in this room is lined with straw or dry peat in several layers, which are added gradually as the previous layers wear out. So the cows will not hurt their feet. Manure is harvested by cattlemen manually with samoflames or delta scrapers.
An individual approach to feeding is excluded, but the cattle are divided into groups and produce a diet for them. Separately, only give concentrates - during the milking they put in individual feeders.
With the loose stitch method, it is necessary to organize maternity wards.
Keeping cows without leash in boxes
In loose housing livestock there are two types: group and box. We told about the first in the previous section, now we will tell about the second.
The essence of box placement is that the rest of the cows takes place in individual sections from 2 square meters. Boxes increase as the animal grows. Floors make sloping (to drain natural waste) from rammed clay with earth and poured over straw. This straw should not be mixed with the one with the floor in the common room. Most often, the boxes are made of planks and wooden boards, but in special cases, you can build a section of metal structures.
Often the box content is used only for raising young animals. Adult cows are transferred to the group.
Milking is carried out in special rooms where cows are turned up in small groups.
The main advantages of loose housing: mechanized feeding, relatively cheap construction of the premises, easy cleaning.
Difficulties of transition and other disadvantages
The main disadvantage of loose housing content is that it is very difficult to move on after a tether. First, it is stress for animals that are not used to long-term "social contacts." There may be conflicts in the herd, especially cows that are on the lower levels of the hierarchy. At the same time, the likelihood of disease transmission increases, so more thorough veterinary control is necessary for livestock.
Difficulties are also possible with the staff. Transition to loose housing may require retraining of employees of the enterprise, hiring better trained specialists. In addition, you will need to change the arrangement of premises for livestock.
Another disadvantage is an increase in some expenses. So, at loose housing, expenses for feed and litter materials grow by about 17%.
Keeping animals without heating
There is a method such as cold livestock. This is a kind of loose stall. It is used where there is no possibility or need to make heating in the barns.
The main thing in this case - ventilation. For the maintenance of cows only drinkers, feeders and milking equipment are needed. The air in the room for cattle should come at the rate of 16 cubes per hour for every 100 kg of animal weight. In the winter, a complete renewal of indoor air should occur every 15 minutes. In the warm season, the air circulates constantly in the barn.
How to provide such ventilation? The best way is a natural extractor. It does not need electricity or other power sources. It is enough to make a long window in the ceiling, as well as wide openings in the eaves and walls. The cows are in a free state on a deep litter.
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