The Cow Longevity Conference kicked off at Hamra Farm on Wednesday, August 28, 2013. Renowned scientists, experts, farmers and journalists joined DeLaval representatives to discuss how cow longevity can be one way of supporting farmers in their efforts to be more sustainable and profitable.

Simple solutions can have dramatic effect,” said Jeffrey Rushen who is an adjunct professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia, the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at Saskatoon and at the University of Laval in Quebec, Canada. He stressed the importance of finding efficient ways to transfer information about fairly simple solutions such as the use of soft, non-slipping floors and deep beddings to avoid injuries in cows. “This is where a company like DeLaval can play an important part,” he said. Benchmark between farmers is something he also advocates. “Many farmers don’t know what their neighbours do,” Rushen said.

The necessity of keeping an eye on your cows was a message conveyed repeatedly during the day. “You can get a lot of information from watching your cows,” commented Frank van Eerdenburg. Alongside teaching animal welfare and adaptation of farm animals, van Eerdenburg advises dairy farmers about housing and ventilation.

Other topics, including when and why to cull cows, optimal lying time, flooring and some economic aspects were also discussed the first day of the conference.

All lectures from the two-day Cow Longevity Conference will be recorded and available on www.milkproduction.com after the conference. Summaries will be available on www.delaval.com

For highlights of the conference content, please check our Facebook feed.

For more about Jeffrey Rushen or any of the other speakers, please see our Speaker list.