Cracking the Code of Farm Roadways: Deciphering Your Cows’ Secret Messages

“Roadways on Grass-Based Dairy Farms: The Key to Maximizing Benefits from Grazing, Says Industry Experts”

Farm roadways play a vital role in grass-based dairy farms. Well-designed and laid-out roadways allow for the maximum benefit to be achieved from grass. However, it is essential to consider what your cows are telling you about the current design or construction of your roadway. Your cows should be the ones to show if they are comfortable or happy as the roadway was built for them.

Although the roadway may appear to be in good order and getting cows to where they need to go, if you look a little closer, you may notice some issues. For instance, if the cows walk in single file in some areas of the roadway, there could likely be an issue with the surface. The surface may be too hard or have a large number of sharp objects that are causing pain or injury to the cows when walking. If this is occurring on your farm roadways, you may need to look at improving the surface or finding a way to remove or reduce the presence of sharp objects underfoot. Old astro-turf can be used in these situations to help spread the cows over the full width of the roadway surface.

Another sign that something is wrong with the roadway is when cows stop or slow down when passing a certain area on the roadway. This could be caused by them not liking the surface, or as it is near the roadway, the cows may be unsure or scared. This could be a very simple fix by just removing whatever the object is from their sight or fixing the roadway surface in this area.

Observation is key when it comes to identifying issues with roadways. There could be a number of other things that are causing issues on roadways; what is important is that you take note and look to make changes. They could be as simple as putting in another entrance/exit to a paddock to improve cow flow or moving a water trough that causes the cows to stop. Farm roadways need to be effective and efficient. If cows are stopping, moving too slowly, or moving too fast, they are not effective or efficient. Poor surfaces may also be increasing the number of lameness cases on the farm, and this can not only be expensive to treat but is also an animal welfare issue.

In conclusion, it is essential to consider the needs and comfort of your cows when designing and constructing farm roadways. They are the ones who will be using the roadways daily, and their comfort and well-being should be a top priority. By observing the cows’ behavior and making necessary changes to the roadway design or surface, you can ensure that your farm roadways are effective, efficient, and contribute to the overall success of your grass-based dairy farm.