Proper maintenance of the cow in your own farm will bring great benefits, because the owner will always have fresh milk and meat at hand. But it is important to understand that these animals need proper care, feeding and a properly equipped room. This is especially true for newborn calves and pregnant cows.
The best breeds for personal farming
There are two directions of cows: dairy and meat. Consider the best breeds of cows for breeding on a personal farm.
- Jersey ;
Meat breeds of cows:
Depending on what the owner needs to receive more: milk or meat before him there is a choice in buying a cow suitable for him.
Types of keeping cows in the household
For the personal maintenance of a cow, several types of their maintenance are suitable.
This type of content is only suitable for individuals that have been sent for fattening and for rearing young animals. The same thing happens in large farms. In this case, the cows are on the pasture in special camps for the entire walking period. Milking takes place in special milking shops right next to the pasture. For the private keeping of animals, this is beneficial.
In this case, there are no animals walking, they live in stalls. This type of maintenance is used extremely rarely and only if there is no land for pasture. Cows eat ready-made food right in the stall, and walk in designated areas for about 3 hours a day. For a personal household, this method is not suitable, since it is expensive to feed with imported food all year round. This method is used only in the winter season, when pasture walking is impossible.
This method is used in large farms, but there are some positive aspects of tethered maintenance in the household:
- If several animals are kept in one barn, it becomes possible to tie each cow to a leash. This is to avoid injury to weaker livestock.
- The cleaning of recycled waste is simplified, since it will only need to be cleaned from behind, but not throughout the stall.
- A leash is used for treatment or artificial insemination.
- It is easier to monitor the condition of the animal, the amount of feed eaten, thanks to this method, you can find out the disease, if any, in the initial stages.
- Easy care for the burenka, namely the processing of the udder, cleaning the hooves, milking and other manipulations.
- An individual approach to each animal is provided: feeding, feeding.
- The animal quickly gets used to its owner, as it is in close contact with it.
In addition to the positive aspects, there are also negative ones:
- Long sitting on a leash can lead to problems of the musculoskeletal system.
- Feeding and drinking animals is somewhat difficult.
- Holding the cow on a leash for a long time may delay the afterbirth. In other words, after the birth of the calf, the placenta is attached to the walls of the uterus, and it can only be removed by the surgical method.
- You can’t keep a cowskin on a leash before giving birth, it can lead to injury to the baby.
Lodging is also used in both large and household households. This type of content is popular due to its convenience and cheapness. Litter changes twice a year, and straw or sawdust is sprinkled as the top layer gets wet.
Thus, the lower layers of the litter are oxygen-free, subject to biochemical effects. As a result, strong heat is released from under the lower layer, which serves as heating especially in winter.
The feed is poured into a common large feeder, which simplifies the work with the help of technology. Often, whole bales of hay are laid out in the yard, from which animals feed. There is one drawback - the amount of feed is increasing. The plus is that you can simultaneously place several goals in a certain area.
In the boxes
Cows are kept in special box sections. Animals are constantly in boxing, and sometimes only switch to the opposite side for feeding. Thanks to the equipment of the cows in the boxes, they can be milked, cared for and provided with rest. In one section there are approximately 40 goals, which are distributed by age.
This content saves space and facilitates the entire process of caring for the animal, because everything happens on a mechanized level. This has a positive effect on milk production.
Settlement of a barn
If it was decided to get a cow, then it is necessary that there is a barn where the animal will spend nights, and in winter day. Making a barn yourself is quite simple, and any material will do:
But the climate in which the animal will live should be taken into account, for example, in the Northern latitudes, the shed must be additionally insulated. The temperature in the barn should not be lower than 10 degrees, so that the cows feel comfortable. The floor should be wooden with a mandatory slope from the drinker to the dung pit to leak excess fluid.
There should be 5-6 square meters per head, and if the cow is with a calf, then the area should be increased to 10 square meters. The room should be light and have ventilation cooling. The calf cage should be spacious, bright, warm and clean.
For greater comfort, the litter spreads on the floor, which changes every day. Feeding troughs and drinking bowls should be installed at the level of the muzzle so that the cows have constant access to them. If there are individuals of different ages in the same room, it is necessary to install a grill between them to avoid injury.
The doors to enter the barn should be alone to avoid drafts. The entire room, drinkers and feeders must be cleaned and washed daily so that animals do not become infected with helminths and other diseases. Once every three months, the premises are disinfected to exclude various diseases.
The video shows the owner of the cow how best to equip the barn, how much milk the cow produces on a personal farm, and when and how they graze:
After the construction of the barn is completed, it is necessary to take up a feed room. They cannot be stored in the barn itself, because they are saturated with manure and will quickly deteriorate.
In addition, you should take care of the necessary equipment with which the owner will work:
- shovel (scraper and shovel);
- feeding troughs;
- container for storing feed;
- brushes for cleaning cows;
- clothing and footwear specially reserved for the barn.
Conditions of detention
The most important conditions for livestock maintenance are cleanliness, warmth and dryness in their premises. Cleaning in cowsheds and litter replacement should be done daily. The same applies to feeders with drinking bowls - they must be cleaned every day.
The temperature in the stall in winter should not be less than 10 degrees, and for calves at least 15 degrees.
Care and hygiene
Following proper cattle care standards directly affects their productivity. The weight of one burenka is 500 kg, but they are herd animals, so it would be advisable to have several individuals in the household. If this is not possible, then grazing is recommended along with other animals so that the young growth develops correctly.
In summer, you do not need to keep animals indoors, they must walk all the time. On the territory of walking you need to make a canopy where cows can hide from the sun and rain. A pack of salt and a drinking bowl should be placed there, where there should always be clean water.
Milking is one of the main processes in the personal economy. This should happen three times a day with the help of hands. Before starting, you must carefully inspect the milking and udder for damage, after which it should be massaged. Milking must be carried through until the udder is empty and soft to the very last drop.
To obtain high productive indicators, it is necessary to observe certain breaks between feeding, milking and even cleaning. In the morning, from 5 to 6 hours they feed and clean in the barn, the same manipulations are carried out at 13 hours and in the interval from 20 to 21 hours. In addition, the schedule should be followed when distributing feed, raising goals for walking.
In summer, cow's milk is of the highest quality, because the grass that cows chew on pastures is very useful. In addition, this is a good saving on animal nutrition.
Caring for animals in the winter season includes preparing for the premises and equipment.
- If there are cracks, then they must be covered up, and the windows, floor and ceiling should be insulated.
- Inventory is disinfected and checked for breakage.
- Windows should be such that they can be easily opened for ventilation, they should be located behind the animal, on the side or above the head.
It is important to change the litter in a timely manner. It can be made from straw, which needs 2.5 kg per head. You can also use peat, which has hygroscopic properties or spruce branches, sawdust, they are also able to absorb moisture.
If the cows are in loose housing, then walking should occur daily. Walking on their own in the pasture, cows eat naturally, eating healthy, succulent feeds. Fresh grass is full of vitamins and other useful substances that are necessary for proper growth.
Lodging is carried out in late autumn and early spring. If walking occurs on artificial pastures, then they should be tied 5 meters from the peg, which from time to time should change its location.
Pregnancy and calving cows
The duration of a cow’s pregnancy is, like in humans, 9 months, 2 months before the estimated date of birth, the animal should stop milking. This is to ensure that the calf is born healthy and strong. In addition, juicy feed is removed from the diet of a pregnant cow in a month and a half, and the amount of concentrated feed is reduced.
Hay and special vitamin supplements must be included in the diet of pregnant cows, they will be useful for both the calf and his mother. A couple of weeks before giving birth, the cow will change its behavior. She moves away from other animals, lags behind them on a range and starts to twist the nest, pulling out the litter in whom. This does not mean that the cow should be kept in the barn; walking is still necessary.
Before the birth, the cow is transferred to a separate room, the harbingers of the birth are the omission of the abdomen and a swollen udder. It must be disinfected, lay hay and lay burlap. Easy calving takes no more than 30 minutes. Immediately after birth, the calf must be wiped with a clean rag, clean the nose, ears and eyes of mucus, and cut off the umbilical cord with sterile scissors.
How are calves kept?
The first days after birth are very important, during this period the calf is exposed to the bad influence of the environment. The room in which the calf will be located should be warm, and drafts should be completely absent. 2 hours after birth, the baby should drink a portion of colostrum, which is necessary for the proper development and growth of the calf. On the second day, you can already drink it with mother's milk. Read more about feeding calves from birth here .
During the first month, the calf will drink milk and additionally receive juicy concentrated feed. Then, within a month, the amount of milk is reduced, and the volume of solid food, on the contrary, is increased.
Calves are kept separately from their mothers in a special walking area, where hay, succulent feed, and necessarily water, are always in an accessible place. If there are several babies, then from 8 months of age they are distributed by gender. Already at one and a half year old, the heifer is ready for pregnancy, but on condition that her weight is 70% of the adult.
Feeding animals is most convenient from the feed table. A trough is placed in front of the stall or the place is simply fenced off with boards, between which feed is poured. This option is perfect for the anchor type of content.
You can add any food to these feeders:
- a mess
- concentrated feed.
About what should be the ration of dairy cows is written here .
With loose housing, in a home barn it is best to hang hay feeders. They are carried out in the form of a pyramid truncated downwards, this helps to easily feed small feed. Concentrated feeds can also be poured into such feeders. Juicy components, as well as root crops, are produced from the bucket during milking.
The basis of the diet should be coarse feed, which helps to maintain a cow, as well as ensure proper nutrition. Cows have a digestive tract that can digest a lot of hay, grass and straw. If the animals do not have enough concentrates, then they have a digestive pathology, and milk yield decreases.
On large rural farms, the basis of the ration is silage, hay and hay. But for private breeders, it seems difficult to get food silage systematically.
In the summer, animals can graze all day in the pasture, which will greatly facilitate the task of feeding. As a bait, you can offer the animal vegetables, root vegetables and concentrated feed. Be sure to always have clean and fresh water in an accessible place.
In winter, feed animals with pre-harvested hay and silage. In one day, one head can eat from 15 to 20 kg of roughage. For a change, animals are offered chopped root vegetables, vegetables and mixed feed. You can spoil the animal with steamed porridge porridge.
In drinking bowls, clean water should be easily accessible all day. Additive to food can serve as salt, which should be in an accessible place for the animal.
The diet for feeding cows in different seasons is presented below in the table:
Dead period and calving
February to May
from June to August
from september to october
December to February
|Daily milk yield per period in liters|
|Beets and carrots, kg / day.|
|Sunflower meal, kg / day.|
|Cereal concentrates, kg / day.|
|Feed phosphates, kg / day.|
|Salt, kg / day.|
Additional feed for the entire period in kg
The grazing period of animals can change the lower and upper boundaries depending on the climate.
Health and Prevention
The owner should always monitor the state of health, eating food and general behavior. As a preventative measure, veterinarians recommend the following measures:
- Providing good nutrition with the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to milk the cow after each feeding.
- Keep livestock clean and in a dry, ventilated area.
- At any time of the year, cows should have constantly clean water.
- It is necessary to monitor the purity of the animal - the cleaner the cow, the healthier it is and the better its milk.
- Carrying out all vaccinations and passing the necessary veterinary examinations.
The barn should be treated once every 7 days with slaked lime or caustic soda. It is necessary to remove animals from the ingress of wild animals and rodents.
As for vaccination, it is important to do it by age to prevent the disease.
|10 days||Paratyphoid, which is additionally carried out after 10 days.|
|1 month||Combovac is a complex against infectious diseases. Repeats after 15 days.|
|1,5 months||Pasteurellosis is repeated after 20 days.|
|77 days||Deprive, repeat after 13 days.|
|110 days||Leptospirosis, repeated after 15 days.|
|135 days||Emphysematous carbuncle.|
|100 days before delivery||Colibacillosis.|
|3 months before delivery||Paratyphoid, revaccination after 10 days.|
|for 50 days of delivery||Kombovak, repeat in a month.|
Advantages and disadvantages
To grow and maintain cows in a personal farm is a profitable, but laborious task. It is necessary to clean, change feed, water, and get up early in the morning in order to milk and feed the animal and bring it to the pasture. If the animal is in loose housing in a personal household, then the hassle is reduced. But in case of grazing, it is necessary to walk with them in a range, so that they do not go far.
- in order to get a few cows, not much finance will be needed;
- there is no need to hire workers and purchase special expensive equipment;
- the opportunity to find a place for walking, as there are few livestock;
- an opportunity to find a good sales outlet;
- home-made milk and meat are valued much higher than that of large farms.
- the need to get up at dawn and carry out a series of manipulations;
- when grazing, cows should be grazed and sit until the range is over, because the animals can go far;
- if it is decided to start more than 15 goals, then it is necessary to hire special workers.
Keeping cows in the household is profitable, but at the same time not easy. After all, animals need constant care, timely feeding, milking, cleaning and walking. But to pay off this business quickly, home-made meat and milk are valued higher than the store. If you properly care for and feed the animals, then they will surely please the owner with their productivity.