All farmers are aware of the benefits of increasing the productive lifetime of their cows, question often is how to make it happen in practice.
It is expected that there will be some turnover of cows on a dairy farm as cows are removed because of low milk production or to sell. However as much as 70-80% of all cullings are involuntary, and the main three reasons are lameness, mastitis and reproduction problems. These high rates of involuntary culling on a farm are a sign of poor animal welfare and are very costly to the dairy farmer.
In order to address this problem, there is plenty of research and knowledge available to support dairy farmers. The solutions do not have to be radical changes nor involve large investments. Even simple things that improve cow comfort can have a dramatic positive effect.
Papers on cow longevity
- Cow longevity – 100% in line with the DeLaval vision on Sustainable Dairy Farming, Charlotte Hallen-Sandgren
- The importance of improving cow longevity, J. Rushen and A. M. de Passillé
- Cow longevity economics: The cost benefit of keeping the cow in the herd, Albert De Vries
- The working day of a dairy cow, Lene Munksgaard
- Walking and standing surfaces for longevity, Christer Bergsten
- Lying area design and barn climate getting it right, Frank J. C. M. van Eerdenburg
- Maximized feed intake - access and consumption, Trevor J. DeVries
- The beneficial effects of cooling cows, Dr. Israel Flamenbaum
- Lameness - Prevention, detection and treatment, Steven L. Berry
- Proactive mastitis management, Eric Hillerton
- Getting the cow pregnant, Geert Opsomer, Miel Hostens, Kristof Hermans and Bonny Van Ranst
- The transition cow needs space and comfort, Kenneth V. Nordlund
- The role of calf nutrition and management on lifetime productivity of dairy cattle, M. E. Van Amburgh and F. Soberon