The dry cow shed on a dairy unit is often the oldest, most poorly ventilated shed on the farm.
Independent dairy adviser Hefin Richards of Profeed Nutirtion Consultancy says too often he visits farms where milkers are given the best accommodation available and dry cows are the ‘forgotten part of the jigsaw’.
But if dry-cow housing isn’t fit for purpose it can have a massive impact on how cows perform in their subsequent lactation, he warns.
See also: Dry cow academy
“If the transition area isn’t right it will affect every single animal within the herd.
“It can be a big bottleneck and is likely to have far reaching implications on milk output, fertility and may even lead to premature culling.”
You don’t have to spend tens of thousands erecting brand new sheds to do a good job either. David Ball, AHDB Dairy housing specialist, says small tweaks in older sheds can make all the difference.
“Small changes could be implemented to improve dry cow accommodation.”
Mr Richards, Mr Ball and cattle vet Sara Pederson explain what constitutes a good dry cow shed. Click on the numbers below to find out more.