Dairy Cattle Management: Human-Cow Interactions

Published on: 12/11/2008
Source : University of Minnesota Dairy Extension

This year I have spent many days at dairies in Minnesota and South Dakota collecting data for an observational study on dairy housing systems (including low profile cross-ventilated freestall barns) and well-being. A lot of the time I am 'stationed' by the return alley scoring cows for locomotion, as well as making observations related to cow movement, behavior, fear of humans and 'contentment.' C...

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December 11, 2008
Thanks for your article. Would you please send me the e-mail addresses of scientists that work on in the same title?
Thank you.
Pedro Nogueira Pedro Nogueira
Animal Nutritionist
December 14, 2008
Thank you for your article. Very interesting and very fundamental. Sometimes we spend so many time balancing rations and using expensive ingredients and additives to try to solve production problems that in some cases can be solved by other approaches.
December 27, 2008
Very good article. We have seen feed efficiencies improve from .1 to .3 just by how we handle cows when we correct the issues. We have also seen SCC lower by 100,000 when we take away the stress and handle cows correctly.
Tushar Kumar Mohanty Tushar Kumar Mohanty
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
January 8, 2009
I am very much impressed about the animal welfare and production aspect and Human and cow interaction. Now how we will be able to measure stress in individual animal in a herd so that we can take appropriate steps to correct this.

Other stress situations are:

Changing group in milking parlour as production changes we make cow to adjust with new groups.

I will ask another question, what is the optimum number of animals in a group? Where animals are comfortable and have very good interacting or friendship, so there is no much stress.

Every human has social circle and it is never unlimited. Why it is not applicable to animal? All these factors affect DM intake and performance.

Changing group on production, age and weight also we make these animal to some stress and take a lot time to adjust.

I have experience in buffaloes, when we procure animals managed individually by farmers as family members are shifted to group housing system with best management and feeding, never able to reach the performance which was measure in the farmer’s home. There is some thing important in buffaloes for letting down of milk in a friendly environment.

Dr. T.k. Mohanty
M Subhan Qureshi M Subhan Qureshi
Professor and Dean FAHVS, University of Agriculture, Peshawar-25120, Pakistan; Chief Organizer, Dairy Science Park
January 23, 2009
I congratulate the author on production of a very good paper on dairy animals behavior and their interaction with the humans. My mother talks with the hens reared by her and call their names. The birds feel happy and comfortable in her company.

In Pakistan the rural farmers and their ladies and children love the sheep, goats, cattle and buffaloes. The bigger animals are taken care by the older ladies and the sheep and goats and their kids are fed and reared by younger boys and girls. These food animals are loved by their attendants and usually kept in the same room where the humans live. Any health disorder of these animals puts the whole family in trouble.
August 26, 2010
nice article
Krishan Agarwal Krishan Agarwal
December 2, 2010
a very good article on humane approach towards animals .in hindu religeous books lot of instances are there where Lord krishana used to blow flute before cows.definitely love &affection plays wonders in productivity but more scientific research are required to be taken in this direction.by authore,Marcia Endres suggested positive indicators like stroting,rubbing,hand resting on the animal back or flank and talking are worth practising on dairy animals for ensuring optimum production.
Muhammad Aadil Muhammad Aadil
December 13, 2010
Thank you for your important article. It is a very common problem in Pakistan small dairy herds when a new person enters in shed with which the animals are not familiar, the animals are feared and run away. break their chains, head collors, and pegs in a close type of hosing. when a veterinarian arrives at a farm to vaccinate or treats animal, all animals are feared and may be injured or can cause injury to vet, as well as owner leading to decrease production. It also causes problem when animals are taken to cultural shows and for milk competition shows. Feared animal can’t compete and are lost. When a new person milk feared animals to buy them animals don’t respond well which affect animal repute. Sometimes customers refuse to buy this type of animals. Thanks
Shannon Storr Shannon Storr
October 17, 2015
How did the interaction start with humans and animals? I can't seem to find thing anywhere, can anyone help of provide a source where I could maybe find it?
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