Dairy cow comfort has been determined in many research trials to measurably lead to longer cow life, lower cull rates, better comfort for the animals, and increased net returns to farm profitability. In an ever-challenging economic environment for dairy farmers, investments in cow comfort can return many times over the initial costs for upgrading. Recently, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County created two films addressing dairy cow comfort. The first is "Dairy Cow Comfort in Stall Barns," and the second is "Dairy Cow Comfort in Free Stall Barns."
The films highlight Dave Balbian, a Cornell Central New York Dairy and Field Crops Team member, as he interviews central New York dairy farmers about their experiences and thoughts about cow comfort, and possible upgrades to consider for their facilities, or which have already been made. In both tie stall and free stall barns, items to consider for cow comfort are stall length and width, types of bedding used, the different types of mattresses and mats, the height of mangers in front of cows, the height of neck rails, and the placement of waterers.
These films are available, free to the public, at YouTube.com
. Go to YouTube and simply type in "Chenango Cow Comfort." Additionally on YouTube, 12 grazing-oriented films produced by CCE Chenango in 2012 for the Cornell Small Farms program can be accessed by searching for "Cornell Small Farms."
For further information, contact Rich Taber of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango at 607-334-5841, ext. 21, or firstname.lastname@example.org