Dairy barn systems have been used successfully for decades around the world, particularly in cooler climates. Dairy farmers across New Zealand are learning more about the benefits of building barn housing for dairy cows. Some of the benefits include better effluent management and reduced stress on pasture, improved herd health, and a longer milking season thus increasing production.
Where we can help with dairy cow barns are:
- Ensure Bedding Reduces Health Risks
- Fully Utilising Water
- Prevent Lameness
Ensure Bedding Reduces Health Risks
Whether it's the milking shed or dairy barn, anywhere animals are in close proximity increases the chances of pathogens and the spreading of bacteria and viruses. No matter what bedding material you use in the barn such as rubber mating, water beds or wood chips, you can kill bacteria like Staph aureus and E. coli by regularly applying an effective bedding additive. Zorbifresh Active uses 100% natural NZ zeolite to absorb up to 199% of its weight, soaking up ammonia and moisture to leave bedding dryer with less odour. Other ingredients in ZorbiFresh Active ensure that bacteria such as E.coli and Staph aureus are killed, reducing the pathogenic load in sheds. This results in fewer outbreaks, healthier cows, and a nicer environment to work in as well.
Fully Utilising Water
As has been seen this summer, weather conditions are becoming less predictable, and in both the top of the North Island and the bottom of the South Island there have been drought conditions. Water is more valuable than ever. Whilst it is more humane to offer cows shade in hot summer conditions, it's also wise for reducing water wastage and evaporation. Having water available undercover of a dairy barn roof means less is wasted, the cows travel less to get it, and they can maintain their body temperature more easily. When adding water soluble minerals such as OptiSolve containing selenium, cobalt chelated, copper chelated, iodine and zinc, it becomes an easy way to ensure your herd is hydrated and healthy.
When dairy cows are moving between barns and milking sheds there is more of a chance of hoof injuries from small stones from race surfaces such as rotten rock. Lameness can greatly reduce productivity and affect the wellbeing of cows, yet it can easily be reduced by providing a better top surface to farm races. StockRock is also made from New Zealand zeolite and has been proven to reduce lameness and also last longer than other surfaces. The zeolite is hard packed to form a good solid surface, but unlike other rock options, if some were to break off it turns to dust under a cow’s hoof rather than causing stone bruising and other lameness issues. Cows can more between sheds and concrete pads with greater ease and less risk of injury.
Dairy barn farming can work well in many situations, and these are three areas where BPM can support your barn business.