In the summer, the grazing of cows is most beneficial and expedient. In addition to saving on feed, it allows you to maintain the health of the herd. Being in nature, eating natural food, animals become hardened, become stronger - the heart, lungs, muscles strengthen. Young animals develop correctly, grow more resilient, and their immunity is much better than that of livestock that spend their whole life indoors. How to organize walking on a pasture correctly, we will tell in this article.
How to choose a place for pasture
If you open any manual on the maintenance of cattle and look at the table of contents, we will see that a lot of attention has been paid to pasture maintenance. However, his organization is not as simple as it seems at first glance to a non-professional. For grazing cows is far from any place. First of all, pastures should be fairly abundant, grassy. If the grass is withered, short, tough, then, of course, there will be no benefit from such food.
Secondly, the area where cattle will graze must be clean. In the spring, before releasing animals, pasture is surveyed, stones, brushwood, carcasses and bones of animals, rotten grass, garbage, manure are removed. It is unacceptable that a cattle cemetery or other graves should be located next to the pasture meadow.
Pasture should not be too far from the farm, otherwise the cows will get very tired on the way. The best distance is 2-3 km.
The place of shepherd must be chosen so that there is a watering place near it. However, the water source must be safe, so a sample is taken from it in advance and investigated in the laboratory.
So that the cow does not hurt its legs and does not get lost, choose flat, well-viewed terrain for pasture. Be sure to have shelters from the sun - trees or campsites.
What should be the grass
It is important not only the amount of grass, but also its quality. For cattle, cereals are best, as well as legumes. Wetlands are dangerous with poisonous greens and mollusks that carry worms. Plants in these areas are poor in nutrients, which is why animals develop diseases caused by a lack of various micro and macro elements. If there are swamp areas in the pasture, they must be fenced so that the cows do not go there.
Wooded areas are not suitable for grazing due to the fact that animals can injure their feet or udder. In addition, there are many ticks and other harmful insects in the forest zone. They will not only disturb the cattle, but may also infect it with dangerous diseases or parasites. In addition, there are few nutritive herbs here, and this has a bad effect on the productivity of dairy cows.
We provide the right watering.
Water sources for grazing for cattle may be different, but it is better not to use rainwater, as it has a poor mineral composition. However, if other options are not suitable, you can take it, but then the animals need to enter mineral supplements.
Artesian waters, which lie deep underground, on the contrary, have a rich composition. But sometimes they are oversaturated with salts and other substances. Cattle may refuse to drink such water or to experience even greater thirst.
If there is a river, a pond or a lake nearby, you need to make sure that the water is safe. The place chosen for the watering place needs to be enclosed and made comfortable for cows.
If there are no sources of water nearby, the drinkers make digging wells in the ground. Each time after the cows drank, the water is changed so that bacteria do not multiply there. For the same reason, it is not allowed to “sour” the soil around the drinker.
Remember that from the place of grazing to the water should be no more than 2 km for the cow to go there and back without getting tired. Cows need to drink 3-4 times a day, in the heat - up to 5 times. Water temperature is also important. In the summer, the optimum is 16-20 degrees, in the winter 8-12. For calves, the water temperature should always be 15-16 degrees.
We arrange the grazing of animals correctly.
The pasture system has its own rules. So, it is impossible to graze animals during frosts, after a rain and on dew. This herb is harmful to the digestive system of cattle. This is especially true of wet grasses that cows willingly eat in the morning after a night break. A small portion is not dangerous, but a large one will cause a timpani - bloating of the scar. This is a very unpleasant disease, fraught with complications. For the same reason, before spring grazing, they first wait for the earth and grass to dry out, and only then release the herd.
In the period of summer heat, you need to make sure that at the height of the day the cows are in the shade. Shelter cover is also required in case of strong wind or rain.
Cows must be scattered on grazing, do not follow each other and not gather in groups, otherwise some of the animals will remain hungry. Even on the pasture you need to have salt salt licks (50 grams per cow per day).
It is important to consider the age and sex of livestock. For grazing it is divided into groups:
- heifers, heifers over a year old, cows;
- calves from 2 to 6 months;
- calves from 6 to 12 months;
- feeding animals.
At the same time, the best plots are given to calves, highly productive, as well as to deep-housing cows. Bulls older than 12 months are kept separate from the heifers, but there may be one male for every 50-60 cows in the herd.
Driving and distilling system: what is the difference
The driving system of cattle keeping is when the cattle sleeps on the farm, and during the day goes to the pasture 1.5-2 km away. Distant - when the pasture is farther than two kilometers. Animals are delivered there, as a rule, by transport, and they are there permanently. If the cattle is distilled to pasture, then watering points are put on the way every 5-7 km and animals are allowed to rest.
On distant pastures it is necessary to have professional shepherds. If the grazing area is above three kilometers from the familiar animal zone, they will need to adapt. Cows are overtaken on such pastures not immediately, but holding first on a lower elevation.
Camps are often organized on distant pastures created for cattle. They are located in the center of the grazing zone, providing a convenient way to bring in feed and cattle.
Than driven pasture better than free
Under a driven system, all pastures are divided into plots, which are used alternately. The advantages of this method are that the herd is easier to control and easier to divide animals into groups. If you use an electric fence, you can even do without a shepherd - no animal will run away anyway.
Forming pens, the plot encloses the wire stretched over the pillars. Reinforced concrete posts are better, or wooden ones of hardwood, with a section of 15x15 cm. The length is 200-220 cm, they are buried by 50-80 cm. The columns are placed at least 80 m apart. they produce 100-120 cows. At one site grazing is 3-6 days, not longer.
With free herding, a cattle goes where it wants, eating the best grass. As a result, weeds and poisonous plants begin to dominate on the ground. The area eventually becomes unsuitable for grazing. In the driven system, cows are distilled from one site to another, giving time to re-feed the grasses. It does not allow pasture to degenerate.
Advantages and disadvantages of the stall-pasture system
For stall-grazing cows do not need high costs, so it is often used in small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as in the farm.
Among the advantages include a reduced need for space and the cost of the products obtained, the possibility of preventive measures during grazing, compactness, no transportation costs and distillation of the herd.
The disadvantages of such a system are obvious: in a limited area you can only keep a certain number of cows; intense trampling of grass occurs, especially in wet weather.
However, exercise is good for animals anyway. Thus, a calf born to a cow that spends enough time on grazing has better immunity compared to young cows, "domesticated."
Features stall-vygulnogo content
The free-range housing system is when animals are taken out for a walk into the pen after morning milking. In the corral, cows spend 3-4 hours according to plan, but in reality it turns out to be less. The fact is that a lot of time is spent on unleashing livestock, its withdrawal, pening and tying. This is the main drawback of such a system. In addition, in practice, pens are often small in size, and are too rarely brushed. So there is a risk of disease in the herd.
In addition, such a walk animals are not enough, they do not receive the right amount of sunlight. This has a bad effect on the health and productivity of the livestock.
Nevertheless, the stall-walking system is convenient for both small and large enterprises that have a shortage of pasture. With proper organization, you can minimize the disadvantages of the system.
Tethered cow grazing, tethered content
In farms where a tethered way of keeping livestock is practiced, each cow lives in a separate stall on a leash. Plus that provides an individual approach to animals. However, in the pasture period, the maintenance of cows takes a lot of time and effort. Each animal must be untied, brought into place, then driven back and re-tied.
In the cold season, cows walk on the grounds adjacent to the stalls.
If you have one or two cows, but there is no opportunity to give them to the herd, which is regularly grazed, it does not matter. You can organize individual grazing.
Choose a pad, flat and with good grass, in the middle, drive a peg. One end of a long rope is tied to it (6-7 m minimum), and on the second you need to make a loop. The loop is put on the neck of the cow, but it should not choke the animal. Burenka move as she will eat the grass in the area.
If there is no place for grazing, the cow will still need to be taken outside. Holding her on such a leash can bring her food and water. So she will eat and heal in the fresh air.
How to teach a cow to walk in a herd
Now tell you what to do if a cow refuses to graze along with other animals. By the way, there is nothing surprising. Cows have a rather weak herd instinct, therefore, having seen an unfamiliar company, a Burenka can run away from the herd home or to its usual place.
First of all, you can't beat an animal for going home. The cattle will continue to run away, but no longer in their own backyard, but where they look. May be completely lost.
In general, the introduction to the herd - stress. That is why it should be done gradually. It is desirable that the first time, at least a week, the owner went with the flock to the pasture. Seeing a familiar person, the cow will not be afraid. First, the cows graze in the herd for 3-4 hours, gradually adding time. It is good, if cows are in advance familiar with the shepherd. Then they follow him more willingly and obey.
If pasture is nearby, calves can go there with their mothers and return home, which allows them to get used to the herd without problems. Or they are taken separately with the young.
Sometimes the calf is grazed even with kids, it is better than constantly keeping him in the stall.
Of course, the baby needs to be watched so that he does not run away, but be kindly treated.
So, we have told all about the grazing of cattle. We hope you liked the article, be sure to put likes.
Do not forget to share experiences and impressions in the comments.