Date of this Version
This NebGuide describes housing, milking, and feeding systems that promote cow comfort, maximum feed intake, and profitability.
The goal of every dairy producer should be to provide housing and milking environments that promote cow comfort, milk production, and herd health. Feeding systems and strategies should maximize feed intake and ensure proper body condition. Cow movement to and from the parlor should be gentle and considerate.
Cow comfort can make a difference of several thousand pounds of rolling herd average milk production between two herds with similar genetics and rations. The successful producer will create a cow environment that minimizes stress, excessive competition for feed and water, and potential for injury. This NebGuide stresses important aspects of facility design and herd management that can enhance cow comfort and promote maximum feed intake.