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Environmental Control and Protection of Dairy Cow Breeding

Posted on: December 2, 2019, edit by Victoria

I. Environmental Control of Dairy Cow Breeding
Environment refers to all external factors acting on the animal body, that is, all external conditions related to the life and production of dairy cows. It mainly includes temperature, light, sound, soil, topography, space, air, water, microorganisms and so on.

Dairy cows live in certain environmental conditions, the external environmental conditions will inevitably have an impact on the health and production performance of dairy cows. The impact of the external environment on dairy cows is reflected in two aspects: favorable environmental conditions can promote the health of dairy cows and improve production performance; harmful environmental conditions damage the health of dairy cows and reduce production performance.

We should understand the physiological characteristics of dairy cows, provide favorable production and living environment for them, avoid and eliminate unfavorable production and living environment as far as possible, so that dairy cows are always in good health, give full play to high production performance and obtain maximum economic benefits.

1. Basic requirements of dairy cows for the environment
(1). Environmental temperature

Kinds of cowOptimum temperatureMinimum temperatureMaximum temperature
Cow shed90~172~625~27
Calf shed6~8425~27
Delivery room1510~1225~27
Shed for lactating calves12~153~625~27

(2). Environmental humidity
The humidity of air in cowshed has little effect on dairy cows in the range of 55-85%, but more than 90% does great harm. Therefore, the humidity in cowshed should not exceed 85%.

(3). Air quality
The essence of air quality is the concentration and content of toxic and harmful gases.

The harmful gases in cowshed mainly come from the respiration, excretion, and decomposition of organic matter in the production of cows. The harmful gases are mainly ammonia, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide.

The concentration of ammonia in cowshed should be less than 50 g/m³, the concentration of carbon monoxide should be less than 0.8 g/m³, and the maximum allowable concentration of hydrogen sulfide should not exceed 10 g/m³.

Environmental Control and Protection of  Dairy Cow Breeding
Environmental Control and Protection of Dairy Cow Breeding

2. Basic requirements for dairy breeding facilities
(1). Breeding Site
Dairy farms should be built in place with dry terrain, leeward sunny, air circulation, solid soil, low groundwater level (less than 2 meters) and flat terrain. Require convenient transportation, sufficient water, good water quality, power supply, and communication conditions. Dairy farms should be surrounded by no industrial and mining enterprises, no livestock and poultry farms, and at least 300 meters away from the main traffic arteries. Soil, water, and air should be pollution-free, and the site is quiet and noiseless.

(2). Spatial area
Cowshed area: 
The delivery room is 10 meters for 2 heads; the adult cow is 8 meters for 2 heads; the young cow is 6 meters for 2 heads; the bred cow is 5 meters for 2 heads; calves are 2-3 meters for 2 heads.

Farm playground area:
25-30 m for 2 heads in the delivery room; 20-25 m for 2 heads in the adult cow; 15-20 m for 2 heads in the young cow; 10-15 m for 2 heads inbred cow and 8-10 m for 2 heads in the calf. The ground of farm playground should be made of triad soil, not cement ground. The one side near the cowshed is high, the other three sides are low, and the slope is 1.5-2.5%.

Canopy area:
There should be a canopy in the farm playground, which is 3-3.5 meters high. The area of each cow is about 3-5m, depending on the size of the cow.

(3). Size of cow bed
The length of the cow bed: the delivery room is 1.8-2.0 meters; the adult cow is 1.65-1.85 meters; the young cow is1.5-1.6 meters; the bred cow is 1.3-1.4 meters; the calf is 1.0-1.3 meters. Cow beds should be high in front and low in back, with slopes ranging from 1% to 1.5%. Cement ground should be treated with anti-skid treatment.

The width of cow bed: 1.2-1.3 meters in delivery room;1.1-1.2 meters in adult cows;1.0-1.1 meters in young cows, 0.9-1.0 meters inbred cows and 0.7-0.8 meters in calves.

Environmental Control and Protection of  Dairy Cow Breeding
Environmental Control and Protection of Dairy Cow Breeding

3. Environmental management
(1) Keep the cowshed warm in winter and cool in summer. The air is fresh and the ground is clean and dry. In the cold season, ventilation should be reasonable to avoid the accumulation of water vapor and toxic and harmful gases in the house.

(2) Keep the farm playground clean and dry, and never accumulate water. Clean up the feces in time and fill the holes.

(3) Keep the whole site well drained and clean. Do a good job of greening, eliminate mosquitoes and flies and breeding conditions.

(4) Reduce mechanical and artificial noise as far as possible and keep the environment quiet.

(5) Buildings and facilities accessible to all cows on the farm should avoid sharp corners to prevent injury to cows.

(6) Clean up the waste in time, absolutely avoid cows eating foreign bodies such as nails, wire, plastic cloth (film) and so on.

Environmental Control and Protection of  Dairy Cow Breeding
Environmental Control and Protection of Dairy Cow Breeding

II. Environmental Protection of Dairy Cow Breeding
In addition to creating an environment conducive to the production and life of dairy cows, attention should also be paid to protecting the surrounding environment to avoid pollution caused by the process of breeding dairy cows. The environmental control measures of dairy breeding are also environmental protection measures to a large extent. Environmental protection also creates necessary conditions for environmental control, which can further promote dairy production.

The following main environmental protection measures should be taken in dairy breeding.

(1) When choosing the place of dairy cow breeding, the environmental impact should be considered. Therefore, dairy breeding sites should be far away from drinking water sources, at least 500 meters away from villages and residential areas, and in the downwind direction.

(2) According to the actual situation and conditions, adopt practical, scientific and effective methods to dispose of cow excrement and waste produced in production in time, do harmless treatment, and then make rational use of it. Avoid polluting the air, water source, and soil by odor, toxic and harmful substances and microorganisms produced by feces and urine, and pose hazards to human beings or other animals and plants.

(3) To minimize the production of waste and achieve cleaner production.

(4) Rations should be prepared scientifically to minimize and avoid the possible harm to soil caused by residual nitrogen, phosphorus, copper, and zinc in feces.

(5) Do a good job of environmental sanitation, minimize and avoid the pollution of the surrounding environment caused by the odor of cow farms, mosquitoes, and flies.

(6) In production, the noise and dust produced by machinery, cows, and personnel should be minimized to pollute the surrounding environment.

(7) Take active measures to prevent and control epidemics, to avoid the possible threat of zoonosis to producers and residents around them.

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