Animal welfare is the most important factor for animals to reach the best possible state of health and is essential for them to show a maximum economic benefit in a rational way. It is one of the indexes that generates the most economic losses and is the least considered. The critical moments to take into account are the handling of the animal in the field, its transport to the refrigerator and its treatment at the time of slaughter.
One of its main characteristics is the “ruminate”. After they are fed, the bovines revel in all the food and constantly remastizan. This serves to control their physical-chemical conditions of rumination. That’s why animals like cows, sheep and camels are constantly salivating. Even when they are ruminating, this process also helps chew and swallow the bolus.
The cow is one of the pets that produces the most saliva. Wow! There are many aspects that affect cattle as well. If you keep cattle, then take advantage of our comprehensive hoof trimming service to ensure the health and wellbeing of your cows.
Most breeds of bulls and cows originated from a single ancestor: the (Bos primigenius)
The beginning of the domestication process occurred more than 10,000 years ago, and today the animals raised for milk production have practically nothing to do with their predecessor.
During this evolutionary history, we come to the two current bovine species: Bos taurus and Bos indicus. The species evolved in different places, which influenced the physical and metabolic characteristics of each one. For example, most Bos indicus are more robust. They face better adversity (they have a greater resistance to ticks, for example) than Bos taurus, which developed in the European climate.
Whatever the species, basic welfare requirements must be met. Since access to pasture and water, social interactions, shade and the ability to control its temperature. Also, of course, that they have quality food.
Cows love routine
Cattle like to eat at the coolest times of the day. They eat grass and hay. In addition, they can also consume corn, soybeans, sorghum and wheat. In a single day, dairy cows eat up to 7 kg of grain and more than 30 kg of grass.
Cows love routine: they always do the same things at the same time.
During one day, they spend approximately 14 hours resting – and 6 of those hours go through rumination. The rest of the time is often divided between: 4 hours walking, 5 hours and a half feeding and 30 minutes drinking water.
Nobody manages to be so systematic, is not it?
Where a cow goes, the ox goes behind
In addition to eating at the same time, the cows also do everything together. This is because the cattle are gregarious animals, they live in groups and always carry out their activities together. Hence the saying “where the cow goes, the ox goes behind.”
And it is the truth. If they could choose, they would live in groups of around 20 to 30 individuals. Within this group, there are two important functions: the leader or dominant. The dominant is usually a large, strong animal that has privileges over resources – such as priority access to shade. However, when there is an attack by predators, it is part of the fight.
The leader is usually an older female, who knows the grass where they live and is responsible for initiating all the activities of the group. For example, everyone is ruminating and she is the one who gets up to drink water to encourage everyone to get up and drink water together.
Curiosity: a cow can drink up to 100 liters of water a day and live quietly until she is 18 years old.
20% of cattle, and 80% of …
You will not believe, but we swear it is real: cows have 80% of the genome identical to ours. The similarities do not end there. The hormones of our reproductive cycle are exactly the same as the cows and the gestation of them also lasts 9 months.
But why is it important to know all this?
Because there is only one way to provide welfare, or better living conditions for the cows on the farm: understanding their behaviour and their needs.
Although the majority of the population consumes milk, many are still not aware of how complex and sensitive the cows are. Knowing these animals helps us to provide a suitable environment so that they can express their natural behaviours and also, every time they move to the society they care about their well-being.
Every year, 70 million animals around the world are raised for meat, milk, eggs and other products for human consumption. Many of them live in conditions of suffering and stress. We cannot turn our back on the problem. World Animal Protection works with governments, farmers and consumers to force changes that improve well-being and provide a better life for these animals.
Stress should be minimal, not only for your well-being, but also because physiological changes can influence the organoleptic qualities of the meat. The presence of many people, the noise, the momentary sedentary lifestyle and the new environments are considered stressful. There may be, in turn, signs of anxiety and fear, such as tail movement, head up, sweat and radar ear (the tips of the ears towards things that disturb the animal).
No hurry. The cattle look at the man, when he is outside the vanishing zone (portion of circular terrain belonging to the animal) of the troop. The escape zone depends on the level of calm that the animal has, and it enlarges when it becomes nervous or when the man approaches him from the front. To direct the correct movement of the cow, you have to give it time, space and a way out. The fastest way to work is to do it at the speed of the animals.
Here at Victorian Hoof Care Services you can forget about limping because we will take care of cattle’s hooves properly and help you keep your cow healthy and strong for dairy production. You can trust real experts in the area with many years of experience in the field of hoof care.