News & Advice

Cow flow

Nov 29, 2016 | Dairy, Farm systems, Lameness

Vet:  “Your cows are taking it easy on the way to the shed”

Farmer:  “Not really, they are pretty good today”

Vet:  “How long does it normally take to bring them in for milking?”

Farmer:  “Just over an hour”

Vet : “Oh, and what distance do they have to walk on average?”

Farmer:  “1 km most days with the furthest paddock 1.3 kms away”

Slow cow flow in itself, whether on the track or through the shed, doesn’t cause lameness. It’s a symptom rather than a cause. The pressure and congestion that often occur as a result, however, increase wear and tear on cow claws which predisposes them to lameness.

On top of this, slow cow flow is frustrating, because it increases the time it takes to bring them in as well as milking time, if cow flow through the shed is affected.

So, like a cow that’s off her milk, it’s important to follow up the symptom of slow cow flow to get a diagnosis and address the issue.

Do you know: 

  • Cows can walk up to 4.5 km/hour on a good track
  •  Which risk factors on your property impact on cow flow and how to identify them?
  • Routine is extremely important for a herd of cows – standardising milking practices can make a significant difference in cow flow and with it reduce lameness.
  • Sometimes it only takes some observation to identify problem areas – sharp corners, slippery surfaces, backing gate (ab)use
  • It’s very easy to introduce bad manners; not so easy to restore propriety

The Healthy Hoof Programme is designed to identify problem areas on farm that increase lameness prevalence, involving all aspects that can have an impact. If you would like to know more or speak to one of our Healthy Hoof Providers, please contact your Anexa FVC clinic.

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