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Dairy Farming Manual

Volume 2

Husbandry Unit 3.2

page 163

Extension Materials
What should you know about husbandry in dairy cattle and buffalo housing?
Why is clean housing important? (10-17)

1 Because clean housing improves the health of your cows and calves and the quality of your milk.

How can you handle manure? (18-23)

2 Keep manure away from your animals and use it for compost manure or biogas.

How can you handle feed and water? (24-36)

3 Keep feeders and drinkers clean and change feed and water often.

How can you handle insects? (37-42)

4 Keep flies and other insects away by using netting and/or flypaper.


 How can you improve safety? (43-48)

5 Make sure floors, walls and fittings cannot harm your animals.


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 How should you control your animals' environment?
6 Make sure:
- it is clean
- and safe
- with few insects
- and good feed and water supplies.


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 Why is clean housing important?
10 Give your animals clean housing
11 and you have healthy cows and calves
12 good quality milk


13 and you earn more money.

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14 If you give your animals dirty housing
15 you have dirty, unhealthy cows and calves
16 a lower yield of poor quality milk with
- flies
- high bacteria levels
- a bad smell
17 and you earn less money.


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 How can you handle manure?
18 Keep manure away from your animals' area.
19 Remove manure from your cattle shed at least twice a day, before milking.
20 Take the manure to a storage site, for example a compost heap.

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21 You can also store manure in a biogas tank or a storage tank underground.
22 Never wash or sweep manure out of the shed. Wet, muddy manure-swamps outside the shed create problems:
- insects come and breed
- bacteria increase quickly
- flies spread bacteria and diseases and contaminate your milk
- your milk gets a strong unpleasant smell.
You cannot use the field or area outside because it gets spoiled.
23 If manure runs into your exercise area, worms and other parasites can spread from animal to animal.
Your cows also get problems with their hooves.

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 How can you handle feed?
24 Remove old feed from feeders every day.
25 Clean troughs every day.
26 Concentrates quickly spoil or turn sour if you leave them too long in the feeder.

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 27 Never fill fresh concentrate on top of old. The old concentrate ferments and your cows become sick.
 28 Always remove the old concentrate first.

 29 Then fill with the fresh concentrate.


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How can you handle water?
30 Cows need a lot of water.
Give them as much water as they want to drink.
31 If your cow does not get enough water, she produces less milk or no milk at all.
32 Make sure drinking water for your cows is clean.
33 Empty out dirty water from drinkers


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35 and fill up with fresh water every day.

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36 If drinking water is left dirty, your cows do not drink it, and produce less milk.

 How can you handle insects?
37 Flies make your cows uncomfortable.
Stress can reduce milk production.
38 Your cows are difficultto milk when flies disturb them.
 39 Reduce fly breeding by:
- proper disposal of wastes
- keeping sheds clean.
40 Flycatching strips or flypaper improve the conditions for your cows.


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41 Mix sugar with an appropriate insecticide and place in a small tin.
This will attract the flies and kill them.
42 Protect your cows from flies by using flyproof netting round the shed.
How can you improve safety?

43 Your cows cannot move easily on slippery floors.
They become scared of walking.

 44 They hurt themselves when they fall.


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 45 They can break their legs and then you have to slaughter them.
  46 Make floors safe so that it is easy for cows to walk on them.
Make sure:
47 Your exercise area is free from anything which can injure your animals.
48 The electrical connections are safe.
A good living environment for your cows gives a good income for you in return.


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