At Black Brook Farm, cow comfort is a priority. Hal and Kerry Adams of Shortsville, N.Y., have put the comfort of their registered Holstein cows at the top of their "to-do list."
"We're trying to maximize cow comfort so that we can get the best production per cow that we can," says Hal Adams. Rubber mats were placed in the alleys to reduce slippage and also reduce lameness, while the free-stall barns are bedded with sand. High-capacity fans were added recently to the farm, which has helped keep somatic cell counts down during the summer and boost production.
All of these measures have "allowed us to reach 90-plus pounds per cow on twice-a-day milking," he adds.