Cow Signals-Seasonal Grazingis an edition where a special chapter is added to the regular Cow Signals book for farming systems that depend highly on seasonal grazing. This chapter focusses on specific issues, like:
- calving strategies: in seasonal grazing systems also calving is often seasonal, this requires a different approach; - grass intake: indoors you can easily monitor the total feed intake of the herd and for concentrate even for individual cows. On the pasture this is more difficult to monitor; - risk areas and periods in grass based systems; - body condition: since grass is lower in energy than concentrates or silage, you have to monitor the body condition closely. Also to prevent fertility problems; - water supply: often the water is not close to the animals all the time, so access to water is even more important in the field; - cow tracks: cows in grass based systems walk a lot and this should not lead to hoof problems; - herding: cows move differently in the field than indoors. As a herder, you have to act accordingly.
Cows send out signals continuously about their health, well-being, nutrition, and production. The challenge for the dairy farmer is how to interpret these signals and use them. Dutch vet and cow enthusiast Jan Hulsen has drawn on his expertise and wide experience to writeCow Signals Seaonal Grazing: a richly illustrated farmer’s guide on how to interpret the behaviour, posture and physical characteristics of groups of cows and individual animals.