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Friday, August 19, 2011

How to maximize your dairy's profitability with minimal investment: Increased resting time = more milk (Part 4 of 5)

So, how did you sleep last night? According to research, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Did you know that sleep deprivation has been linked to serious problems including anxiety, diabetes, heart issues, weight gain, and impaired memory?

According to Rick Grant's Hoard's Webinar, resting time is also vital for cows; they are biologically driven to rest. In fact, cows will sacrifice one minute of eating for every 3.5 minutes of lost resting time. Ideally, they should be resting about 12 hrs/day. (Click here for more info on time budgeting).

A 2003 study by Matzke compared the productivity of cows & first-calf heifers when they were away from the pen for three vs. six hrs/day. By reducing time away from the pen from six to three hours, cows gained an average of 2.6 hrs/day resting time and produced an additional 5 lbs. of milk. Even more impressive, first-calf heifers gained an average of 4.1 hrs/day resting time and produced an additional 7.9 lbs. of milk.

Bottom line: there is a clear biological link between incremental increases in resting time and milk production. 

FYI: The final post in this blog series will be available today at 3 p.m. CST!

Interested in more information on resting time?
Click on the link below to watch Grant's webinar!

Source: "Managing cow behavior for profit and performance" Hoard's Webinar presented by Rick Grant, Miner Institute. May 9, 2011.

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