Housing of dairy cattle
Housing of Dairy Cattle
- The basic justification for animal shelter
is that it should alter or modify the environment for the
benefitof animals enclosed in it.
- The animal shelter should normally
buffer the extremes of climatic conditions to reduce peak
"stress" on the animals housed.
Design considerations for animal houses
- Animal houses should be located in an elevated
area with good drainage facility
- Direct sunlight shouldnt fall into
- Sufficient green cover should be there
around the sheds
- Sufficient open area should present
around the animal shed for free movement of animals
Construction of an ideal cattle shed
- Each animal should be provided 1-1.2 mt
width and 1.5 - 1.7 mt length as standing space.
- Sufficient space should be provided for
each animal in the shed or else it may lead to fighting
among them. For e.g. For 5 cows the length and width of
the shed should be 6 mt and 2.5 mt respectively.
- It should have an open area of about
8 mtlength and 6 mt width. Fencing or compound wall can
be constructed around the shed.
- It should be impervioius, non-slippery
free from holes and crevices. It must have proper slope.
- The material of the floor should
preferably of cement concrete.
- The rof should be small and simple.
- The roofing materials should preferably
be asbestos sheet or galvanized iron sheets.
- The roof should be 8 high at
sides and 15 high at center. The height at eares is
- If iron sheets are used as roofing
materials them cover it with grass during summer season.
- A continuous manager is constructed
so that it can accommodate all the animals.
- The height, depth and width of the
manager should be 60, 50 and 40 cm respectively for each
- It can be constructed by using cement
and brick or by cement concrete.
- The width and depth of the gutter should
be 30 cm and 7.5 cm respectively.
- Generally the drainage should directly
be connected to the fodder plots.
- It helps to know the financial position
of the diary farm.
- Different records like milk production
register, feed register, health register, mortality register
etc should be maintained in a dairy farm.
Management of dairy cattle
(100o - 102o F)
40 - 50
20 - 25
(98.8o F, in summer up
to 40 (104o F)
40 - 45
Normal temperature, pulse rate and
respiration rate in some domestic animals
General principles of animal management:
The basic requirements for the welfare
of livestock are
- Provision of readily accessible fresh water
and nutritionally adequate food as required
- Provision of adequate ventilation and suitable
- Adequate freedom of movement and ability
to stretch the body
- Sufficient light for satisfactory inspection
- Rapid diagnosis and treatment of injuries
- Emergency provision in the event of breakdown
of essential mechanical equipment
- Flooring which neither harms nor causes
- The avoidance of unnecessary mutilation.
- Good stockmanship is the key factor in
the welfare of all livestock.
- To derive the maximum benefit, the domestic
animals must be kept in a state of perfect health. Domestication
and rearing of animals for raising their productivity causes
considerable strain on the body resources of animals.
- It is therefore essential that these animals
should be looked after well and are provided the required
necessities of management, housing and nutrition.
- Considerations of economy, productiveness
and protection from inclement weather necessitate the confinement
of a large proportion of Indian cattle in houses, sheds
- The cattle-sheds need not be expensive.
When designing them consideration must be given to the comfort
and health of animals, the economic use of labour in milking,
feeding and cleaning, and hygienic conditions for milk production.
The level of lighting, natural or artificial, should be
such that all the cattle can be seen clearly.
- A stall measuring 1.5 m in length
and 1.2 m in width is considered suitable for Indian cows.
Mangers and gutters should be 0.75 m and 0.45 m wide, respectively,
with all corners rounded up in cement.
- The general layout of dairy farms should
be planned depending on the number of animals to be housed,
facilities to be provided for feeding the animals economically
collection of manure, and cleaning and washing.
- The cow-shed may be constructed in a single
row if the number of animals is 16 or less, or in two rows
if the number is more, with the heads of the animals facing
outside, the so-called 'tail-to-tail' arrangement, so that
the manure can be removed from the common central gangway
between both the ranges of the stall.
- The objective of ventilation is to replace
by pure fresh air from outside, without producing draught,
the air in buildings rendered impure by pulmonary or cutaneous
exhalations, products of combustion, industrial processes,
and affluvia arising from fluid and solid excreta, refuse,
etc., so that at no time the amount of carbon dioxide present
exceeds six volumes per 10,000 volumes of air.
Keeping milk clean
- Milk is a highly perishable substance,
and its flavour and keeping qualities are readily destroyed.
Great care should be exercised to prevent its pollution
by dust and dirt, and its flavour being lost on account
of the smell and taint from dung heaps, rubbish and filth.
- Complete and accurate herd records are
a valuable asset to the management of cattle, buffalo and
- Herd records are essential in the operation
of purebred herds when the management expects to register
the animals in the herd-books and for other purposes. The
progressive farmer must therefore maintain information on
date of birth, sex, colour, tattoo and other individual
identification marks of the animals.
- In addition to these, records of breeding
and performance including productivity of all animals in
the herd should be maintained. These should include date
/ dates of services, dates of calving, calves born, number
weaned, weaning weight, mothering ability of cows, rte and
efficiency of gain in body weight and production, such as
lactation yield, lactation length, dry periods, diseases
and treatment given including diseases resulting in regard
to breeding sires should be maintained.
- These particulars provide valuable information
when selecting herd replacements and aid in culling the
animals. They are important in determining the net income
from livestock enterprise.