Novus International Inc. has introduced a program to help dairy producers enhance the comfort and well-being of their herds so they can better maximize productivity and enrich dairy industry sustainability. The program, called C.O.W.S, stands for Comfort, Oxidative Balance, Well-Being and Sustainability.
Program facts include:
- Dealing with stress requires energy that cows could use for milk production, growth, longevity and overall productivity. Oxidative stress can be induced by disease challenges, physiological conditions, environmental conditions and diet.
- The C.O.W.S. program will be offered to individual key Novus customers as a complementary, value-added service. Confidential farm evaluations will be performed by Novus specialists and include:
• Cow lying time measured with electronic data loggers;
• Gait scores and hock health;
• Facility design and management measures that affect cow comfort including bedding frequency, stall dimensions, neck rail placement, feed bunk space and more.
- Farms participating in the C.O.W.S. program receive a customized report, along with benchmarks of other operations in the region, so producers can gauge whether they have problems that should be addressed.
- U.S. program benchmarks are currently being established through the evaluation of 140 dairy operations in California, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Texas. The program is based on a recently completed study by the University of British Columbia Animal Welfare Program that analyzed on-farm cow comfort assessment with 43 free-stall dairies in that province.