Our goal is that the cows and calves should feel comfortable in our stable. Our stable therefore meets many needs and requirements for animal welfare. We own the sustainable animal husbandry (MDV) certificate. A sustainable animal husbandry (MDV)-stable is a stable with a reduced environmental impact, with measures on animal health and welfare and thereby contributing to the sustainability of the stock.
Below, a number of topics with regard to animal welfare on our farm, is mentioned:
The lamps in the stable ensure that the cows will have, 16 hours a day, at least 150 lux light. When it is too dark (by the weather or because it is night) the lights will be automatically switched on. This system is good for the biological rhythm of the cow and it stimulates natural behavior/milk yield of the cow.
Spacious calving shed
When a cow is expecting a calf within a week, she will be moved to a large and spacious calving shed. This has a positive effect on delivery. Result is we only have to assist in less than 10% of the deliveries.
After they are born, our calves will be housed in calf igloos. Each calf has its own igloo in the outdoor air. The infection pressure is low. This is due to the individual housing and the micro-climate in the igloo. The calves will be less sick. In addition they also build up a good resistance against diseases.
In each ' cow-box ', where the cow can lie down and ruminate feed, you will find a soft mixture of chopped straw mixed with some lime on the floor. This to keep the acidity of the bed in optimum condition, so that germs will get no chance.
The wind curtain on both sides of the stall, ensures sufficient ventilation and averts hard wind and rain.
All the cows wear a pedometer to register irregularity. Too few steps may indicate health problems, while too many steps can mean that the cow is active and drafty (ready for artificial insemination).
On several spots in the stable you will find cow massage-brushes. These make a circular motion when a cow stands against it. The cow moves itself quite nicely to get a massage on all sides.
The cow decides on her own when she will visit the milking robot, when she is going to eat, drink or wants to lie down etc.