We have kept and raised animals for a long time, and this has served a number of purposes. In the case of cattle, they can be used to make products for a variety of industries. The food industry benefits greatly from cows, but home, health and even construction stand to gain much from cattle production.
If you are in the business of raising and selling or using cattle, keeping healthy cows is the best way to ensure your business’s success and profitability. In this article we are going to offer some top tips on maintaining healthy cows.
Provide An Environment That Is Free of Stress
The environment has a deciding role in any creature’s state of mind. It is not only the case for us, but for animals too. A healthy cow is not just one that is physically well, but it is one that is mentally well also. Quite simply, providing an environment for your cattle that is stress and disease free will result in cows that are healthy. And healthy cows ensure you make a greater return on your investment. If interacting with your cattle, do so in a way that is unlikely to make them feel stressed or anxious. Moreover, the environment should be clean and hygienic. This way they are less susceptible to disease and sickness.
Create a Vaccination Plan
Animals are susceptible to disease, and as an owner of cattle you have a responsibility to ensure they are protected. A key component of your overall plan to keep your cattle healthy is the vaccination schedule. Ensuring your cows are vaccinated will guarantee good health, and ultimately means they fulfil their potential.
Ideally, you will have already developed a good working relationship with a veterinarian. If you haven’t, you should do so and work in conjunction with them to create a vaccination plan. This should include which diseases to vaccinate against, which animals will benefit the most from vaccination and when, exactly, the protection vaccines provide will be most beneficial.
Every farm is different, and every animal is different. There is rarely a one size fits all approach to vaccination, so communicate with your veterinarian to create a plan that works for you and your animals. As well as vaccination advice, a veterinarian can give you all sorts of guidance on keeping your cattle happy and healthy.
Your cattle’s nutritional habits are something you should pay close attention to. Healthy cows should have a consistent appetite, for example. Decreased appetite can be an early sign of illness. Furthermore, monitor your cattle’s weight. This will allow you to accurately measure feed quantities. Not only do you need to be mindful of how your cattle interacts with their food, but you need to create a feeding schedule. Cows will have different dietary requirements at different ages. To ensure your cattle are as healthy as possible, we encourage you to work with a nutritionist.
Cattle need ample amounts of clean drinking water, and their diet should provide protein. Minerals and vitamin supplements can and should be introduced into their diet also. Cows are not too dissimilar to us in that they need plenty of food and water for energy and maintenance.
Invest In Shelter
For the most part, cows are resilient animals. If they are cared for and have access to food and water, they are able to tolerate a range of temperatures and conditions. There are some exceptions however. In extreme conditions (high or low temperatures), shelter may improve the welfare of your cattle. Equally, without shelter cows have to put more energy into maintaining themselves and less into production.
This can damage your profits. Cows that are calving may also require shelter, and once the process is complete it is nice for them to have somewhere to go with their calf that is away from the elements. The team at Kit Buildings Direct have ample experience in providing cattle farmers with shelter. Their Cattle Buildings page offers information on their services, and provides the option to obtain a free quote.
Sometimes, even with preventative measures in place, animals can pick up diseases. When this does happen, it is important to act swiftly in order to minimise the event. You should always observe your cattle for signs of illness. If you suspect the onset of disease, it is best to seek advice/ guidance from a professional. You may be advised to identify the sick animal and segregate them to protect the rest of your cattle. Equally, any animals you keep with a chronic illness that are not responding to treatment may need to be culled. Again we encourage you to seek the advice of a professional with experience in cattle disease management. The veterinarian you work with would be a good place to start, but it may be worth exploring other options.