The modern tethering of cows in specially adapted premises allows farmers to make the production of meat and milk much more profitable. This content greatly simplifies the process of mechanization of livestock farms, uses less manual labor, and also allows you to reduce feed costs by up to 10%, while accelerating the growth of muscle mass and increasing the yield of cows.
What is the difference
For centuries in Russia and other countries of the world they cultivated cattle in free conditions of the herd, which increased the physical abilities of animals to the detriment of weight gain and dairy productivity.
The loose-lean method of keeping cows has always been considered a little costly, since several shepherds were required for grazing cattle, and a sufficiently small amount of milkmaids was required to produce milk. This way of growing livestock does not require cleaning manure from pastures, where it became a natural fertilizer, and animals are driven into cowsheds only in the autumn-winter season and bad weather. True, the average milk yield from a single cow is fixed at a fairly low level, which has forced breeders to use a more progressive method of keeping animals.
The modern tethered content of cattle is more laborious, but it helps to get more milk and increase muscle mass of fattening animals.
With this method of breeding cattle, animals are kept in a stall in a tied state (as a rule, a metal chain is worn around the neck). For each cow, a barn area of up to 2.5 square meters is allocated. m with access to the trough on which she can freely stand, lie down, feed and send natural needs, without contact with other animals.
Today, more than 90% of the productive herds of both Russia and the industrialized countries of the world are kept in tethered conditions. The only exceptions are small farms whose owners prefer to grow animals in the old-fashioned way.
The main drawbacks of the tethered method is the need to attract an additional number of workers to clean the stall and feed the animals, as well as veterinarians conducting periodic examinations and treatment of cattle.
It should be borne in mind that the inactivity of animals kept in a stall inevitably affects their health, provoking the development of chronic diseases.
Pros of the tethered content method
Along with certain disadvantages, the maintenance of cows and steers on a leash has significant advantages:
- cases of collisions between animals and their injury are excluded;
- each cow receives the necessary amount of feed that a stronger animal cannot take from her;
- due to low mobility, the amount of feed consumed by cattle is reduced by 10–15%;
- dairy cows and fattening calves are convenient to examine zootechnicians and veterinarians, prescribing an individual or therapeutic diet;
- milk production of cows is increased by 15-20%, and the daily increase in muscle mass of calves - up to 15%;
- the use of a milk pipe suspended above the stall simplifies the milking process.
With the proper layout of the stall, urine and animal manure should flow into special gutters, along which they are transported outside the barns.
The removal of cow manure is quite an expensive process, but fertilizing the fields with them greatly improves the productivity of crops, and is very popular with small and medium-sized farmers.
The content of fattening calves and bulls
Tethered method of keeping animals fed for meat is today considered the most effective. For the maintenance of a large fattening herd, it is sufficient to use small rooms in which from 2 to 2.5 square meters are allocated for one animal. m square.
Growing bullheads on a leash are unable to directly contact and achieve dominance over each other. Grown-up bulls are characterized by increased natural aggressiveness, and the chain leash eliminates the possibility of collisions between animals and their injury.
Using the tethered method for fattening young calves allows you to control the level of appetite and the state of health of each animal, adding the necessary veterinary tools and baits to the feeder.
The calves contained in the stall in a tied state do not move much and feed is well digested, stimulating a rapid increase in muscle mass. If it is practically impossible to grow a bull weighing up to 450 kg in 1 year with the loose method of keeping cattle, then with tethered it is commonplace.
Large American manufacturers feed the tethered animals with corn kernels with flakes with the addition of vitamins and steroids, achieving a gain of such a mass even from 6-8 months gobies.
Dairy herd on a leash
As mentioned above, the world's leading producers are massively switching to this method of keeping cows, because it seriously reduces the cost of producing milk, increasing their competitiveness in the market for similar products.
Modern systems of automated milking and transportation of valuable products through milk lines, as well as machine cleaning of waste channels, have reduced the number of workers involved in the production.
The centralized purchase of feed and the removal of waste of cattle also reduces costs, direct contracts with enterprises of the dairy industry make it possible to refuse the services of intermediaries.
Lack of stress and proper hygienic care allow, for example, Israeli producers to receive from each cow up to 1700 liters of milk per month.
Stall-grazing method for cattle keeping
Depending on the natural conditions of the country and the availability of natural forage base, round-the-clock, stall-walking or stall-grazing cattle are used.
In Russia, due to the large amount of natural fodder, the stall-grazing method of keeping dairy herds is practiced, when in the spring-summer period animals are expelled to natural meadows, and in autumn and winter they are stalled.
With this approach, the quality and fat content of summer milk is improved, and the physical health of animals that move a lot, while being in the open air for a long time, is also strengthened. True, shepherds should closely monitor the herd, separating cows that are sick or oppressed by other animals from it.
In winter, animals are transferred to a tethered way of keeping in barns. Veterinarians investigate their physical condition by prescribing prophylactic anti-parasitic or local treatment. Necessary medicines or nutritional supplements are laid in the feeder for each animal.
This method is used, usually on farms, which contain a small herd of cattle. To increase mobility and restore the health of animals that are tied, they are daily or several times a week expelled to the street.
Special officers drive animals along a certain route, forcing them to move more. At this time, the premises are cleaned and livestock waste is removed.
A prerequisite for this method of housing is that animals receive food only upon returning to the barn, and each cow accurately finds its stall.
Each of the methods of keeping cattle has its pros and cons, and the task of livestock breeders is to find a balance between them, choosing the most productive and inexpensive way to get high-quality milk or meat.
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