One of the productive factors in the dairy cattle farm is represented by the housing structure and its equipment (bunks, drinking troughs, cooling system). The meeting held during the International Dairy Cattle Show in Cremona was an opportunity to discuss these aspects, linked to the welfare of cows, and of the results obtained in some farms in Lombardy.
The possibility of keeping dairy cow farms competitive in the international milk and raw materials market is largely played in the ability to achieve high standards of efficiency and quality in the various stages of the production process that takes place in the livestock.
One factor that can limit the efficiency of the farm concerns animal welfare, which is related to the state of health of the animals themselves and influences the quantity and quality of their productions. Poor welfare conditions can in fact result in an increase in pathological situations and a decrease in the productive and reproductive performance of farmed animals.
During the meeting some results of the Lastaben project (https://costruzionirurali.unimi.it/progetto-lastaben/) were presented. The project carried out direct surveys in stables of different types representative of the Lombard reality and it was evaluated how it is possible to effectively collect information about the structural, management, microclimatic and behavioral conditions in order to improve animal welfare and performances, reducing at the same time emissions. A specific application developed by the project has been demostrated.
Figure: The role of the structure is fundamental to guarantee the welfare of the cows.
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