Raising cattle is a big responsibility, whether they are for dairy or meat reasons. It is important to provide your cows with the necessary livestock feed and environment that they need to grow properly and remain healthy.
Keep your cows happy and healthy with these helpful tips:
- Reduce stress levels. Lowering the stress of your cows can benefit their health immensely. Avoid using dogs and cattle prods as they tend to result in higher stress levels for cows. Also avoid shouting and physical aggression, such as pushing, and remove anything with a bright color or a high contrast between light and dark.
- Keep things clean. Keeping the cattle areas clean helps prevent illness and disease. From their bedding, to the barn and equipment, it is important to keep everything clean and eliminate possible risk factors.
- Make them comfortable. Keeping your cows comfortable and happy increases their overall health. Often farmers use fans and misters to keep cows cool during the hot summer. Barn shelters adapted to fit cows and their climate along with grassy areas to roam around should be provided. A simple addition to keep your cattle happy is a rotating brush cows can lean up against.
- Keep an eye on them. It is important to consistently watch each and every one of your cows. Be aware of any warning signs that something is wrong. These signs include droopy ears, deep coughing, or rapid weight loss. If you notice any of these signs or that your cow is sick make an appointment with your local veterinarian.
- Regular health checks. In addition to keeping an eye on your cows from day to day, make sure to schedule regular visits with your veterinarian for check ups and vaccinations. Doing this ensures their health is kept in check.
- Feed them well. Healthy cows mean healthy meat and milk. It is important to know what is in your cows feed. Often it is best to feed them organic livestock feed so they are not subject to harmful chemicals. Organic feed does not contain harmful hormones, pesticides or steroids. It is also important to monitor the amount of your cows feed consumption. Healthy cattle will come to the feed trough at every meal to eat. Decreased appetite is an early sign of sickness.