Welfare and comfort in dairy cattle: Indexes and economic impact

A. Garcia, Marcia I Endres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cattle comfort is one of the main factors which influence profitability of dairy farms due to its association with involuntary culling, cow longevity, and productive life. Productive life has been defined as the number of lactations a cow completes before she is culled. A productive cow that remains longer in a farm allows for fixed and variable costs to be diluted. Furthermore, fewer replacements are needed yearly, and the producer can concentrate in voluntary culling due to low production, allowing for an improvement in the genetic potential of the herd. Cow comfort is also important from an animal welfare perspective. Different methods to quantify dairy cattle comfort have been developed through the years. These have turned into useful indexes that point to general management flaws or inadequate facility design which increases the probability of a cow prematurely leaving the herd. This article reviews some of these indicators, their practical applications, and their effects on dairy farm profitability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLivestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium
Pages545-552
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008
Event8th International Livestock Environment Symposium, ILES VIII - Iguassu Falls, Brazil
Duration: Aug 31 2008Sep 4 2008

Publication series

NameLivestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium

Other

Other8th International Livestock Environment Symposium, ILES VIII
CountryBrazil
CityIguassu Falls
Period8/31/089/4/08

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    Garcia, A., & Endres, M. I. (2008). Welfare and comfort in dairy cattle: Indexes and economic impact. In Livestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium (pp. 545-552). (Livestock Environment VIII - Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium).