Environmental Conditions

The factors of optimal microclimate are decisive in increasing the productive value, in externalizing the capacity of the animals and in maintaining their full state of health, during the winter. The winter season requires, more than at any time of the year, the inclusion in the normal parameters of microclimate factors (temperature, humidity, brightness, caloric radiation, air composition), in order to act favorably on the animal body.

General arguments

Being an artificial environment, the shelter must stand in the way of harmful effects caused by natural factors on animal health. In the cold season, a shelter can ensure optimal accommodation conditions for ruminants, only if it is constantly monitored and well maintained, in order to comply with sanitary-veterinary rules, no matter how well designed and built.

Efficient production is the result of the correct combination of the quality of the environment in a shelter with the physiological requirements. That is why the complex of physical, chemical and biochemical factors, in relation to the existence of animals and implicitly the biological heating (by yielding the free metabolic heat) forms the microclimate of the shelter, during the winter.

Preparing the shelter for the winter can be a problem posed only when we are dealing with a properly designed and well-structured space. In the winter season, cold air currents, humidity, low temperature, heavy load of harmful gases, microorganisms or dust, should not be found inside.

Dairy cow maintenance systems

In winter, cows can be kept tied or free (untied). Depending on the accommodation capacity of the shelter, the arrangement of the cows and its internal organization, the related maintenance of the cows can be done in several ways. You can choose to accommodate cows with the manger located along one of the longitudinal walls or on the axis of the shelter. In any case, the cows must be given the opportunity to move.

Under conditions of unbound maintenance, the farmer can opt for the semi-open or open shelter (with common / individualized rest area). Each variant requires the good internal organization of the shelter and the paddock, in order to support the technological factors of exploitation. It is also necessary to ensure comfort in the rest area, by the shape, surface, location of the bunks.

The ventilation of the shelters will be carefully monitored because the air changes its properties more frequently in winter, due to temperature fluctuations, metabolic processes specific to animals and technological activity carried out on the farm. The air changes between the shelter and the external environment are made by ventilation installations, the vitiated air changing simply, through the mouths located above each window or separately, at intervals of 2-4 meters. Ventilation baskets made of two rows of insulated boards can also be used. In order to ensure optimal ventilation, it is mandatory to calculate the ventilation volume of the shelter and the exchange coefficient.

The optimal temperature in the shelter influences the health of the animals, its non-realization leading to the production of diseases, the decrease of the productions and the delay of the reproduction. The temperature in the shelter is determined three times a day: in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The compliant temperature norms, in cattle shelters, are: 10-14 degrees Celsius, for cows, 20 degrees, in maternity and 8-10 degrees, for heifers.

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