Are your cows comfortable?

A number of resources are available online to help Canadian dairy farmers evaluate comfort and continuously improve dairy cattle welfare. The following is a quick short list:

THE BARN: A SOURCE OF COMFORT – A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO EVALUATING AND IMPROVING COMFORT IN THE BARN

This guide is a summary of the main points and recommendations provided in Valacta’s The Barn: A Source of Comfort training session. This practical tool is designed to help you to evaluate your cow’s comfort, associate problems with their probable causes, and explore possible solutions.

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The Animal Comfort Tool

This assessment tool was developed as part of an on-farm assessment project which took place in 2010-2012. The aim of the project was to develop an on-farm animal comfort assessment tool that helps producers assess how well they are meeting the Code of Practice and to identify management and environment modifications to could potentially improve dairy cow comfort on their farms. The different components of this tool were tested in 240 commercial dairy herds, comprising of 100 tie-stall, 110 free-stall farms with milking parlor and 30 with Automatic Milking Systems, located in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. Fifteen researchers and extension specialists of several fields related to dairy cow comfort (behaviour, nutrition, health, and management) participated in the design of our tool.

Fact Sheets for Lameness and Body Condition Score

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proAction – Resources for Animal Care

Includes a long list of resources and videos for the animal care module, which is based on the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. Its criteria meets the stipulations of the National Farm Animal Care Council to demonstrate, with assessment and validation, that farmers respect the Code of Practice on their farm. To this end, the research done by leading animal care experts in various leading Canadian universities has been essential, as was the collaboration of a good number of other experts and stakeholders in our industry.

 

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