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


Equipment maintenance and repair is necessary to avoid downtime and to minimize major repairs.

However, maintaining and repairing machines can lead to serious injury.

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Failure to maintain proper coolant can result in engine overheating, engine cylinder liner cavitation (pitting), water pump failures, corrosion, coolant contamination of the lube system and loss of coolant.

Most manufacturers recommend testing annually or at specified hour intervals, such as every 500 hours.

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Editor’s note: The following article is the first in a series of articles regarding current heat stress research and heat abatement techniques.

As temperatures are beginning to rise, now is the time to start thinking about heat stress in your herd and ways to mediate this problem on your dairy operation.

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Summer has arrived, and with it comes heat and humidity. Now is the time to prepare your heat stress and fly control measures. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not you are ready for this summer’s heat:

Have you checked to see if your fans are clean to maximize air movement and save electricity?
Most of us get so busy this time of year that we forget this simple task. Dirty fans can use up to 70 percent more electricity to deliver 50 percent less air movement. This is important to mature animals, youngstock and calves.

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When looking at pregnancy rate data for many Canadian dairies, you can instantly tell when summer begins without even looking at the date.

It’s not uncommon to see pregnancy rates cut in half during the hottest periods of the summer.

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Despite the fact that free-cow traffic is the norm on robotic milking farms (in the Netherlands around 90 percent of farmers choose this option), we often get questions from farmers about directed-cow traffic.

“What does Vetvice think about directed-cow traffic?” they ask us.

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