CowSignals® Workshops – Why?
We like to know what over 1400 participants of CowSignals workshops in cow houses took home and hopw it changed their routine. That's why Nicole Gericke and Carole Fischer-Ten Hagen did a research on behalf of Alta Germany and Vetvice Holland. 170 satisfied farmers told us about their changes.
Most of the farmers came with some background information about CowSignals because they joined a lecture or they read the book. The participants were curious about possible improvements to be made in their management. They remembered the nice atmosphere and the amusing approach and the convincing body language of the Dutch lecturer.
The take home message for all of them was: We have to do a good observation and we have to know what to do with all the information that we get out of our cows and barn. Most contestants said this leaded really to better and more conscious observations of the cows during work.
What changes did they make?
A lot of small, cheap and very practical changes were made to meet the needs of the dairy cows: so more Feed, Water, Light, Air, Space and Rest. The principal of Look – Think –Act is working. The farmers are pushing more often fresh feed in front of the cows. A quarter of the farmers made a special risk cow group (tender love and care group for fresh and lame cows) to get more feed in them and have them under control. They clean the water troughs more often and let the lights burn more hours. To get more resting time and easier standing up and laying down, more than a third of the farmers moved the neck rail forward and put more bedding material in the cubicle. They clean the walking surface more often and already 40 farmers roughened the floors to prevent slipping of cows. The aftereffect of the workshop lasted over a year in which they made several adjustments in there barn and management.
In the end, we wanted to know if they the were happy with the results of these changes. Almost all the farmers were convinced that they made profitable changes. Many farmers had the impression that feed intake went up. They saw better fertility results. More than a third of the farmers stated that the early recognizing of cowsignals is a good thing and it makes their work more enjoyable!
For more information about the successful CowSignals Workshops and Trainings for farmers and advisors, click here to find a trainer in your are.