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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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There is “tremendous marginal value in getting cows to eat more,” Albert De Vries, department of animal sciences, University of Florida, said during the 2017 Cornell Cow Comfort Conference, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team.

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Everyone loves a bargain. No surprise there, but there can be many unpleasant surprises when purchasing equipment at auction. Being “surprised” by your recent barn find is never the object of the buyer’s affection, so let’s take a few minutes to talk about some common ways to reduce the stress or increase the success rate of bidding on that “new to you” piece of equipment.

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What is one of the first things you notice as you drive by a dairy farm? Some might say the smell, but for even those outside of the industry, one of the first things you notice are the barns.

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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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