The benefits of keeping cows happy and improving their health and comfort will be stressed to local farmers at a free event next week designed to help them cut their carbon footprint.
The Cow Health and Comfort in your Shed workshop – which will highlight practical ways to increase milk yield and therefore boost farm efficiency and profitability - is being organised by consultants from Scotland’s Rural College.
The meeting will feature a presentation by expert Jamie Robertson from Livestock Management Systems which will focus on a range of measures that can be taken to improve the overall health and comfort in existing cattle sheds – without the need for a huge investment.
Robert Ramsay of SAC Consulting in Ayr said: “Although we’ve seen significant investment in dairy infrastructure over the past 10 years - there are still a large number of herds housed in older-fashioned accommodation where light levels, ventilation and dimensions are not ideal for modern dairy cows.
“However, small investments in key areas within these sheds can have massive benefits on cow comfort, welfare and performance.
“In many cases improving cow comfort results in an increased milk yield - this invariably boosts the efficiency & profitability of the farm.”
The meeting is being held on Tuesday 28 February at Muirhouse Farm, Crosshouse, near Kilmarnock, which is one of the group participants in the Woodhead Focus Farm Group. Woodhead, at nearby Newmilns, is one of nine volunteer Climate Change Focus Farms across Scotland.
The workshop is being help by kind permission of Alistair Love and family who run Muirhouse. The farm runs around 100 cows on a mixed farm growing grass and Spring barley.
The farm has made lots of good improvements to cow cubicles within the existing cow shed – and is now focusing on further changes to lighting and ventilation.
The workshop is part of a wider catalogue of events organised by the Farming for a Better Climate initiative funded by the Scottish Government.
Rebecca Audsley, Climate Change Manager with SAC Consulting, said: “This is a great opportunity to hear from Jamie Robertson and see how some of his practical ideas could be adapted to benefit your farm.
“Keeping cows happy and healthy is another way we can support productivity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk produced.”
The meeting starts at 11.00am and finishes at 2.00pm. While a free lunch will be provided it would help those planning the event if anyone wishing to attend registered with SAC Consulting Ayr on 01291 525252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.