Progressive Dairyman features I-29 Dairy Conference

Progressive Dairyman discusses this year’s I-29 Dairy Conference, recently held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Among the keynote speakers were Dr. Temple Grandin, a Colorado State professor who is well known for her animal handling practices and Scott Higgins, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Dairy Association-Mideast. The article recaps their presentations about the impact of fear on animal behavior and productivity, as well as proactive measures producers can take when it comes to animal well-being.

Progressive Dairyman has the full story in their article, I-29 Dairy Conference speakers focus on animal welfare. The following is an excerpt from the online article:

Dr. Grandin encouraged dairy producers to take precautions to make “first” experiences positive ones because the fear response is not easily forgotten by animals.

“They’ll associate a bad experience with a color or something like a hat, a female,” Dr. Grandin said. “In some instances they may never get over the negative response so it’s important to make the first trip to the dairy parlor a happy one. Take time to introduce the parlor. Look for things along the way or in the parlor that could trigger a fear reaction.”

First Experiences and Robotic Milking

What does this mean when it comes to robotic milking? A couple of things:

  1. Make sure that the transition of cows at start up and fresh cows after calving is as easy and relaxed as possible. A bad first impression is never forgotten and can cost “fun” related to the robot and production in milk.
  2. The more cramped areas are with gates, like in forced cow traffic, the more stressed the cow will feel.

We encourage you to read full article from Progressive Dairyman, available here.

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