Advisers Address Austrian Barn Overcrowding Problem

AUSTRIA – Theories that the issue of crowded barns can be sidestepped because cattle alternate in feeding and lying are wrong, advisers have told farmers in upper Austria.
calendar icon 2 October 2014
clock icon 1 minute read

Crowded barns are bad for welfare, milk yield and animal health and are a common sight in certain regions, the Chamber of Agriculture has announced.

Cattle eat and lie as a herd meaning sub-dominant cows or late arrivals to the stall sacrifice eating for lying time and suffer lower dry matter intake.

Low intake means increased risk of rumen acidosis because ‘cows lying little eat less’.

Fertility is also compromised, as is production.

“Cows lie down earlier to be guaranteed a stall, therefore eating less,” said the Chamber. “Low ranking animals are pushed out to the cubicles.”

This can result in dominant cows showing ‘aggressive behaviour’ and in lameness problems.

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