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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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We’ve all been there: lying on the couch after a nap, searching for the remote control between the couch cushions and, instead of the remote, we find a quarter, a popcorn kernel, a few blocks, a missing sock ... or something worse.

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Quality milk starts with quality bedding. Bedding is a point of exposure for vulnerable teat ends and a reservoir of growth for the bacteria that cause intramammary infections and subsequent spike in somatic cells.

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Sand is considered the gold standard for bedding dairy freestalls. It is commonly used to bed freestalls because it does not support significant bacterial growth, has a low water-holding capacity and shifts with the cow to provide a comfortable surface on which to lay.

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Dr. Gordie Jones, an independent dairy performance consultant and partner in Central Sands Dairy in Wisconsin, is a recognized expert in freestall facility design.

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If you go tractor shopping, you soon find out there are a bunch of choices to make. Even among tractors of the same manufacturer, you need to know what your present needs are and what your future needs might be to select the best tractor for your operation.

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I don’t believe there is any place colder than a large metal building on a cold, windy day. If they are oriented incorrectly to form a wind tunnel … oh my goodness, they are frigid.

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