Attention to time budgets improves dairy cow performance

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Cows need to accomplish certain behavioral activities each day. Deviations from behavioral routines represent departures from natural behavior. They also can serve as a basis for estimating the performance and economic loss due to poor management strategies.

Improper grouping strategies that result in overcrowding and excessive time in holding pens are two common ways of upsetting a cow’s time budget and reducing herd productivity.

A recent post at explains the natural behavioral needs of dairy cattle and daily time budgets. It also examines the effect of stocking densities and grouping strategies on a cow’s time budget, as well as transition cow behavioral needs and stocking density for heifers. A “Time Budget Evaluator” developed at the Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, N.Y., is also described in the article.


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