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Seven Measures to Deal with extreme wheather in Dairy Cow Breeding

Posted on: December 5, 2019, by Victoria

Whenever a snowstorm strikes, the temperature drops sharply, and some shelters collapse and roads are blocked, which has a serious impact on the life and production of dairy cows.

How should dairy farming cope with snowstorms and freezing temperatures? Three measures for dairy cow breeding to cope with low temperature, rain and snow weather:

Dairy cows should be kept safe from injury (death). Farmers should inspect every production site carefully when the low-temperature rain and snow weather comes, repair and reinforce the hidden dangerous cowshed and fence in time, to avoid collapse and injury (death) of cows caused by snow. At the same time, on the premise of ensuring safety, they should organize manpower to remove snow and ice from combed, farm and road in time to avoid injury caused by cows slipping, but also clean the snow off the shed roof,  reducing the weight of the roof. 

Dairy Cow Breeding
Dairy Cow Breeding

Prepare enough forage to avoid starvation of dairy cows. Farmers should take advantage of the snowy stops and the road is easy to go and prepare more grass, which can meet the feeding needs of dairy cows for at least 7 days.

It is necessary to strengthen the feeding and management of dairy cows.
1. Feed warm water to cows
Cold water is the cooling factor, and cows consume body heat energy when drinking cold water, which affects milk production. Studies show that cows who drink 9-15℃of water produce 0.57L more milk per day than cows who drink 0-2 ℃ of water, which increases milk production by 8.7%. Electric heating, external heating, hot water or thermal insulation tank are adopted in the drinking pool. To avoid the influence of drinking cold water on health, increase energy consumption and reduce production and severe punishment will cause gastrointestinal spasm, abdominal pain or loss of appetite in dairy cows. If dairy cows drink ice (snow) water, it is also easy to cause abortion and premature delivery of pregnant cows.

2. Improving the Nutrition Level of Forage
Cold increases the need for heat maintenance in dairy cows. The practice has proved that when the ambient temperature is below 18 ℃, the maintenance requirement of metabolic weight gain per kilogram of dairy cows is 0.64 kcal for every drop of 1 ℃. Therefore, it is necessary to raise the feed nutrition standard, increase the protein-energy level of the diet by 10% - 20%, the feed amount of mixed concentrate by 10% - 20%, and the feed intake by 10% - 15% as a whole.

3. Reinforced door and window and heating management
Farmers should temporarily close the doors and windows of cowsheds to avoid cold wind and ensure that the temperature of cattle houses is above 0 ℃; reduce vents or adopt regular ventilation to ensure that the house is warm and the air is in good condition; remove feces and urine in the house in time to reduce humidity and keep relative humidity below 60%; sudden temperature drop can increase heating equipment. Time with sunshine to increase daylighting area.

4. Paving dry crop straw or other bedding materials
More exercise can reduce the lying time of cows on the cold ground, enhance their metabolism and improve their ability to resist cold. Farmers should drive cows for 1-2 hours more exercise every day when the sun is plentiful.

Dairy Cow Breeding
Dairy Cow Breeding

5. Trace mineral supplements in local pastures
Some premium hay supplements protein if the grass becomes too dry, or hay if the grass becomes dry or snowy. If a cow is deficient in protein or phosphorus throughout the autumn and winter seasons, it will not reproduce on time after calving. In addition, lean cows are unable to cope with bad weather and lose weight. And, in cold weather, more feed is needed to increase cow weight.

6. Strengthening breast protection of dairy cows
Breasts are prone to frostbite and chapped nipples in the cold season. Antifreeze emollients can be added to the bath solution to reduce the exposure time of wet breasts in the cold and frozen air. When scrubbing or bathing, only touch the nipple; after bathing, let the cows stay in the shed and leave after nipple drying; when the outside temperature is too low, it can temporarily stop the bathing.

7. Avoid forage with snow and ice
When feeding dairy cows with grass, farmers should pay special attention to picking out snow and ice cubes to avoid digestive disorders and abortion of pregnant female livestock.

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