Cow brushes are sometimes viewed as just a feel good for people to watch cows play but there are many benefits including ROI. It is common knowledge among good cow people that happy and comfortable cows make more milk and live longer.
- Cows that groom themselves tend to stay cooler in the summer. Removing hair, dander, and debris off a cow’s hair coat will allow evaporative cooling to take place easier. This should lead to an increase of dry matter intake over the course of time, resulting in a milk production increase.
- During the transition from wintertime to summertime, a cow can remove her fuzzy winter hair coat by utilizing the brush, hence preventing some pneumonias.
- When a pen of cows is overstocked, a brush can keep cows occupied in a certain area, providing more social time.
A study done by The University of Kentucky shows cows that have access to a brush have a lower heart rate. With lower levels of cortisone being released into the body, this promotes the production of milk within the mammary gland and provides an increase in production immediately and for future lactations.
Also, a study performed by Cornell said that – “Cows in a pen with a mechanical brush increased their grooming time approximately 5-fold compared to a pen without such a brush. The authors concluded that a grooming device helps to satisfy the cow’s need for grooming while at the same time improving cow cleanliness. Both these factors (better ‘welfare’ and cleaner cows) may have an impact on disease occurrence and on milk production. Studies have associated cow cleanliness with mastitis incidence (Schreiner DeLaval Swinging Cow Brush Study 2 and Ruegg, 2002), and the increased activity of the cow may lead to less metabolic diseases, better digesting and eventually in higher milk production.”
Additional Benefits Include:
- Keeps cows cleaner, improves skin health
- Reduces fly and parasite stress
- Using a cow brush keeps them calm and relaxed
- Reduces unnecessary barn damage
- Highly visible way to promote your focus on animal comfort
We can have all the studies in the world tell us what makes a cow’s life better or improves production. But at the end of the day, just listen to what the cows are telling us.