Over-crowding of Milking Cows
What’s the Issue?
- Over-crowding of milking cows is common on dairy farms, especially during times of good milk prices
- Youngstock (replacement animal) facilities often are over-crowded because cow numbers have increased (new milking cow barn built) but growing animal facilities have remained unchanged
- Over-crowding may be functional in nature because headlocks won’t open (damaged) or freestalls are broken or not comfortable (e.g., frozen sand, mattresses have lost padding and/or are un-bedded on their surface)
What’s the Impact?
- Cows that are over-crowded are at an increased risk for diseases such as lameness and mastitis, resulting in reduced milk production
- Over-crowded cows may have reduced reproductive function leading to reduced milk production and increased culling of open cows
- Youngstock living in over-crowded conditions may have decreased growth rates and increased rates of disease (e.g., over-whelmed ventilation resulting in increased pneumonia cases)
If over-crowding is causing an issue on your farm, there are two available solutions:
- Build/redesign facilities to accommodate more animals
- Sell animals down to what current facilities will handle
Ask your ANIMART Sales Rep or Professional Services Veterinarian if you need help figuring out just how many animals your facilities can handle. ANIMART does not do facility design, but is willing and able to advise you on how to go about this process. To contact an ANIMART Representative call 855.254.6600 or www.animart.com/contact_us.