April showers bring May flowers….right? Hopefully this nice weather will stick around – it seems like we have had all four seasons these past few weeks.
I have to ask – what would the perfect day look like to you? How much time would you spend sleeping? Eating? Where would you go? Where would you not go? There’s been research done on how cows like to spend their time. Why would that be important? When the cows are comfortable and in a good mood, they are more productive (in making milk) and in better moods! Happy cows = happy farmers!
Recently, I was reading an article from a dairy industry e-newsletter I get from Penn State (see the link to the exact article below) and they gave the breakdown on how cows like to spend their time in a 24 hour period:
- Lying down/resting a minimum of 12 hours
- Eating 3 – 5 hours
- Drinking 1/2 hour
- Social interaction with their herd mates 2 – 3 hours
So what do farmers do with this information? They ideally try to keep the times cows are diverted from this routine whether it be for milking or check-ups with the veterinarian, etc to the few hour window remaining out of those 24 hours.
There are a lot of people and organizations that have some distrust for how farmers care for their animals, and I would like to be a voice that paints a different picture. When you think of all of the time and money that universities put into research – they certainly wouldn’t spend it on something that wouldn’t provide value to the industry or wouldn’t be influential among farmers. Farmers DO care about their cows, and they want to be provided with the best information possible to achieve that goal.
Until next time,