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FACILITIES & EQUIPMENT

Whether using a tie stall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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Just like snowflakes and udder conformations, no two farms are exactly the same.

Robotic milking has certainly highlighted this fact as more and more North American dairy producers are preparing their farms for the latest in milking technology.

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Many factors on dairy farms will affect cattle fertility, and facilities are yet another to consider. Production and reproduction objectives, as well as management program style, must be reflected upon from the initial facility design for any dairy.

Functional facilities will have a long-lasting and rewarding impact on an operation as a whole. This article’s goal is not to give technical recommendations for building but rather to highlight crucial elements of a building’s design to consider from the reproductive standpoint.

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Albert and Alyson Wolfe immigrated to Canada 16 years ago from the Republic of Ireland.

At home, they had a small dairy herd of about 30 cows but were unable to expand due to prohibitive costs.

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Designed and managed properly, freestall shelters can be a good choice for growing dairy heifers.

The building footprint (square feet) and bedding requirement is less for a bedded-pack shelter for an equal number of animals.

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Cow-centred dairy farms include animal- and worker-friendly procedures and facilities for raising dairy replacements from birth to pre-calving.

They provide clean, dry and comfortable living spaces for these important animals and accommodate non-uniform calving rates and the changing animal needs based on age, weight, health and management. A variety of housing types and arrangements can be used to assemble a productive replacement raising system including:

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After a long summer in the hayfield, it’s tempting to simply back haying equipment into the shed for the winter without giving it a second thought.

However, conducting a thorough end-of-season inspection and writing down maintenance needs while they are still top of mind can be time well spent.

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