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Night feeding and management of dairy cows in summer

Posted on: November 28, 2019, by Victoria

1. Strengthen night feeding
Because cows are ruminants, and their intake is larger than other animals, and their special digestive system determines that the faster digestion of cows. Therefore, we should provide sufficient feed for cows, besides feeding an adequate amount of grass during the day, night feed should be added. An appropriate amount of forage can be fed around 10 p.m., but we should pay attention to not let the cows eat too much when feeding, otherwise, it will not only cause the cow's indigestion but also affect the rest of the cows. To meet the needs of the cow's body and improve milk production, the cow should drink enough water after eating.

Adequate drinking water is also the basis for dairy cows to obtain higher milk yield. Dairy cows have to keep drinking water all day long. If the water supply is insufficient, the milk production will decrease directly, and other functions will be disturbed in serious cases. Therefore, adequate and clean drinking water should be maintained even at night. In the cold season, cows should drink warm water to avoid diarrhea or miscarriage of pregnant cows. In summer, dairy cows should drink cool drinking water, which can play the role of heat prevention and cooling. Dairy cows will suffer serious water loss after calving, thirst, and hypothermia will occur. At this time, the cows should be given bran water in time, and the temperature is slightly higher than the body temperature of 1-2 ℃.

Dairy cows
Dairy cows

2. Providing an adapt circumstance at night
Because the temperature at night is lower than that in the daytime, especially in the cold season, the temperature changes larger between day and night, so we should pay attention to the warm-keeping work at night. Usually, the optimum ambient temperature for dairy cows is 8-25℃ The optimum temperature for pregnant cows and lactating cows should be kept at 6-20℃. The temperature for calves should be higher and should be kept at 35-38℃. Therefore, night temperature control should be done according to the requirements of different stages of dairy cows. In winter and spring, it is colder at night, so we should do a good job of preventing cold and keeping warm, and in summer, we should do a good job of preventing heat and cooling, which is conducive to improving the production performance of dairy cows.

Keep the cowshed quiet at night. Dairy cows like to live in a quiet environment, especially at night, cows are afraid of being disturbed. If the noise is too loud at night, it will not only affect the rest of the cows but also affect milk production. When the cows are suddenly frightened at night, the milk production of the cows will drop sharply and the quality of the milk will change. And it's hard to get back to normal. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid making loud noises near cowshed at night, such as setting off firecrackers, driving machines, car whistles and shouting. Keep the cattle farm and cowshed quiet.

Good illumination can improve the feed intake and feed utilization rate of dairy cows, so milk production will also increase. Therefore, the time of illumination in cowshed can be prolonged appropriately. The white fluorescent lamps can be used to illuminate cowshed at night. The time of illumination can be maintained at 13-14 hours, to enhance the metabolism of cows and improve the milk production performance of cows.

Dairy cows lie prone at night, so the comfort of the bed is very important. At present, most dairy farms are cement ground. If cows lie on wet and hard ground for a long time, it will not only affect milk production, but also be liable to cold, and will cause many diseases, such as mastitis and hoof disease. Therefore, soft grass should be laid on the place where cows often lie down, and the mattress should be changed frequently to keep the bed dry and comfortable. Dairy cows prefer a warmer and drier environment, but the temperature is lower in winter and spring. If the cowshed is too humid, the cow will lose a lot of energy by adjusting the body temperature, reduce the feed utilization rate, and there will be cold stress, which will reduce the milk production. Therefore, to keep the suitable humidity in the cowshed, the excrement in the cowshed should be cleaned up after every milking at night, and quicklime should be sprayed on the wet place. It can not only keep the shed clean and dry but also improve the comfort of cows at night, which is very helpful to improve milk production.

Dairy cows
Dairy cows

3. Strengthen night management
The work of brushing cattle at night can not be neglected. It can brush cattle from top to bottom with a brush at about 10 o'clock every night, carefully brushing cattle from front to back once to keep the cattle clean. It can also promote the metabolism of cows, promote the blood circulation of the body, regulate body temperature, improve the comfort of cows at night, and make them more comfortable overnight.

Many dairy farms have nighttime milking habits, but before nighttime milking, we can not ignore the work of massaging the breasts. When milking, we insist on massaging the breasts with warm water, which is helpful for cow breast and nipple swelling, breast dilator muscle relaxation and breast vein expansion to produce breast reflex. At this time, milking can be done, and milk production has increased substantially.

Although animals usually rest at night, for conditional farms or farmers, the cows can exercise outdoors or indoors for about 1 hour at midnight, which can enhance the physical fitness of cows, improve feed utilization and digestibility, and enhance appetite. Studies have shown that proper night exercise does not hinder the rest of dairy cows, but will increase milk production by about 9%.

4. Do a good job of night observation
Night observation of dairy cows is mainly to observe the oestrus of dairy cows, to prevent missing the best mating period, which is very important for improving milk production of dairy cows. Because most dairy cows are estrus at night, breeders need to carefully observe and check the estrus symptoms of cows during the period from midnight to daybreak, to avoid missing the estrus at night and prolong the empty period of cows, affecting milk production and cow fecundity. Besides, night observation also includes rest, rumination, excretion and mental state of dairy cows. We should discover and solve problems in time.

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