Why are cows in barns - Part two

6. A dairy cow can drink a bathtub full of water each day and those in a barn are assured of access to lots of clean water.


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7. Providing a comfortable and clean place for cows to lie down out of the worst of the weather and ground conditions, e.g. mud, is another important reason farmers have barns. Cows like to lie down for up to 14 hours per day whilst only sleeping for about 4 hours per day. This period of lying down is when she will ruminate which helps breakdown the roughage they have consumed thereby providing a larger surface area for the stomach microbes to do their work.


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8. Housing cows in a barn, especially over the winter months, will help mitigate pasture damage through pugging. As you can see in the image above, cows can cause damage to pastures when wet conditions prevail. It takes quite a bit of tractor work to remediate that damage done to the paddock and longer still to repair the damage to the soil structure.


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9. The urine from cows kept in barns can be captured (along with other effluents) and managed very effectively. It can be applied to paddocks when conditions are most suitable thereby reducing the risk of nitrate leaching to where it is not wanted. It can also be spread on crop paddocks e.g. maize, thereby reducing the farm’s fertiliser bill.