Could something as simple as a gate be driving down the average number of lactations per cow in your herd? Some would say, yes. Ontario field editor Bernard Tobin was on hand at this year’s Canadian Dairy Xpo at Stratford, Ont., and sat down to talk barn design, herd health and more with Joep Driessen, of Cow Signals.
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What’s the average lactation your farm achieves per cow? Four? Three? As Tobin and Driessen discuss in the video below, it’s not unheard of for a farm-average to dip below three, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Driessen says that barn design plays a massive role in the amount of time cows spend eating and resting (two key drivers of milk production), but it also plays a huge role in herd health, especially lameness and mastitis management. In regards to dairies equipped with robotic milkers, Driessen narrows down milk production persistence and success with using robotic milkers to four things: healthy cows, plenty of bunk space for cows to eat, no barriers to access the milker and a nice treat for the cow for her job well done.