Why do cows need light?

Why do cows need light?

Cows like daylight, it makes them feel happy, just like farmers

More light also means more feed intake.

In several research we see that cows produce more milk because the dry mater intake goes up due to extra light. Some tests tell us that even with the same amount of dry matter intake cows will still improve their milk yield due to more light. It seems that the light exposure on the eye has a direct effect on natural hormone production and milk yield.

With more light cows show better heat signs. They are more active and therefore easier to detect. Some farmers place a timer on the lights that lightens the barn a half an hour before they arrive in the morning. Cows are then already in their normal day activity, and it is possible to score the cows for any heat signs. Some farmers will react on some slight ear twisting and chin resting of an expected cow, as the only visible signs from last nights heat.

Some farmers turn on the lights for 24 hours per day. This is a waste of money! We find a little more feed intake, but a lot less fertility. Cows need the change of day and night to let the eggs grow and release from the ovaries. With 16 hours light per day we find the optimum feed intake and still a good day-night rhythm for max fertility.

Light, long days, short nights.

Water, light and air are the cheapest feed…

Daylight in the building is cheaper than electric light. However you will always need extra electric light to reach the optimum. We advice16 (-18) hours light (>200 lux) and 8 hours dark (< 50 lux). 200 lux will be reached with for example 70 neon tubes per 100 cows. 50 lux is what you have with full moon on a clear night. The cow recognizes this as night.

During a nice winter day in Holland we reach around 200 lux in barns with large open roof rims and very open sides (4 -6 metre high open) from about 11 till 16 o`clock. This is only 5 hours per day. In Finland it will be less because of the low sun and the too closed buildings…

This article comes from our free eBook 'Light'. Download it now by filling in the form below.

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