Stress buster

9 April 2009

If your dairy is a stressful, frustrating place to be, it’s time to recognise that people are the only ones in the milking environment with the power to change things.

CowTime’s Darold Klindworth explains that sometimes it’s just a matter of changing your approach.

The key to efficient milking is having cows, people and facilities all interacting smoothly. And that goes hand in hand with creating a calm, relaxed atmosphere.

"Everyday activities that we may consider harmless, such as slaps and pushes can result in chronic stress within a herd," he said.

"Poor stock handling techniques increase cattle’s fear levels, decreases smooth cow flow and results in frustration for the milker."

To provide a calm, relaxed atmosphere in your dairy:

  • Keep dairy routine consistent; when you do make changes, allow cows time to change.
  • Move cattle as a group, rather than individually to reduce fear associated with handling.
  • Increase positive interactions and reduce negative ones such as hitting with poly pipe.
  • Avoid excessive noise such as shouting or banging gates.
  • Remove painful procedures from the dairy. Do them elsewhere if possible.

For more information refer to the CowTime Guidelines(Quick Note 1.2)

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