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Dairy Cow Housing

Environmental management of the cow’s living space can play a large part in mastitis and foot health management.  During the housing period, cattle shed ventilation, bedding, feed and water space allocation all play a role in ensuring the herd remains healthy.  Keeping lying areas clean, dry and freshly bedded regularly can reduce the risk of mastitis.

Adequate shed ventilation will help to keep the ambient temperature and humidity down, reducing pathogens in the shed.  Lighting is another factor which can have considerable effects on dairy cow production and it has been linked to hormonal secretion and feed intakes.  Lactating cows need a minimum of 16-18 hours of light per day at 160-200 lux to maximise their milk production.  Studies have shown that dry cows will produce more milk in their next lactation if they receive a balance of 8 hours daylight to 16 hours of darkness or lighting at below 30 lux.

Find out more:

Technical Note TN689: Cattle Housing & Ventilation

Lighting for cows

Practical Guide: Improving shed ventilation for the dairy herd - Farming For a Better Climate

Practical Guide: Improving dairy feed and water intakes - Farming For a Better Climate


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