The Demands of Cattle on their Environment and in the Stall
Keeping cattle in groups is in line with the animals' natural needs and promotes social behaviour. - is particularly recommended for its positive effects on herd behaviour, animal health, fertility, and hoof health. - adapted to the animals' well being is also a good alternative. Working effectively with animals places a number of demands on the professional staff. Regular - and thorough inspections (at least twice a week) as well as quick reactions can prevent illnesses, efficiency loss, and additional costs.
Cattle kept on the pasture over the entire year are very -. When temperatures drop in the autumn they develop a thick winter coat. - promotes animal health. Sandy soils are beneficial when it comes to keeping animals in the pasture in winter. Furthermore, water must seep away as quickly as possible and the earth must be able to -. Locations with high water tables are inappropriate. Stony earth represents a threat to hoof health, and stable footing for animals is very important. The turf cannot be destroyed (by trampling, for example). It is recommended that pastures be allowed to recover in the spring.
Should the - be unsurfaced, it should be moved according to the weather. If the feeding site cannot be moved or the weather is often very damp, it is recommended that the feeding site be surfaced. -, particularly against the primary weather side, by natural means such as hedges and trees, for example, is cost-efficient, but can also be achieved by means of shelters or stack balls of hay or straw. Important is lasting effectiveness.
Weather protection serves to balance out - differences of cold and heat. High levels of precipitation and/or humidity can result in moisture penetration of the coat and a decrease in its insulating effectiveness. This is compounded by evaporation cooling. Wind also causes the body to cool. Cold ground also increases heat dissipation in lying animals. This leads to animals avoiding lying down, which has an adverse affect on rumination and healthy digestion. These facts highlight the - for dry, wind-protected - with dry bedding to prevent heat dissipation. The straw should be replaced regularly in order to maintain its insulating qualities.
The pasture fence cannot pose a source of injuries and must be resistant to breakage. In addition to a sturdy fence along the exterior, electric fences, also for use in dividing pastureland, are also effective. The availability of stable handling pens and restraining gates for the purposes of hoof care, treatments, inoculations, and weaning calves is an important precondition of year-round pasturing. They promote animal well-being as well as - for handlers.
Cattle accommodated in stalls are most comfortable at a temperature between - Celsius. Ventilation systems ensure the regular exchange of fresh and used air. Draughts, humidity levels over -, and water shortages are to be avoided. The regular disposal of waste products should be obvious. The division of a group pen into loafing, lying, and feeding areas enable the cattle to use the individual functional areas separately over the course of the day.
- floors, walkways wide enough to accommodate - side by side, and lying areas acceptable to the animals can increase their well-being. Here it is important to ensure that each animal has enough space in order to avoid fighting for hierarchy. Changes in behaviour might be indicators of deficiencies in -.