Tuesday, December 25, 2012

'SEVAI-OFI'-A happy and healthy cow is a productive cow

Cow care by proper washing in SEVAI
“A happy and healthy cow is a productive cow” said by K.Devendran while speaking to cow farm Women self Help Group members of Sirugamani. K.Devendran serves as coordinator of SEVAI-OFI Cow farm promoted by SEVAI in Sirugamani in Trichirappalli District. K.Devendran in the farm further added, “The cows are here to produce milk but we want them to have a really good life while they do it. Caring for cows is the number one priority for dairy farmers of this SEVAI-OFI Cow Project. Dairy farms have traditionally played an important role, with farmers taking great care and pride in protecting the environment.  Dairy farmers should know that cows like to move around and socialise, so they make sure there is plenty of space for exercise as well as rest. SEVAI-OFI cow farm practice is for maximizing animal welfare is grouped into essential categories such as Housing, Nutrition, Animal Health., Animal Handling, Movement and Transport and Farm Worker Education”.K.Devendran also mentioned “Providing cows with nutritious feed is also important. Cows need a healthy, balanced diet in order to produce milk, so dairy farmers work with nutritionists to create special diet plans for them. Most dairy cows eat grass and silage and cereals, protein feeds, vitamins and minerals. The vets make regular visits to the farm to make sure the cows are healthy, and work with farmers to create a herd health plan. It is monitored by SEVAI and certain standards ensure that cows have ready access to nutritious feed and fresh water, spacious and comfortable barns and pastures and the best veterinary care.  A herd health plan covers every topic from housing to feed, right through to any preventative strategies such as vaccinations. Appropriate training and supervision of farm employees ensure that animal care and handling standards are being met. Written and verbal training helps farm workers to do the following such as Recognize and understand basic animal needs, rapidly diagnose and treat animal illnesses or injuries, Handle, move and transport animals in a manner that minimizes animal distress and is safe for the animal and the caretaker, Perform humane euthanasia procedures competently and to understand and implement biosecurity measures. Great cow care isn’t just the right thing to do for the animals; it’s also good business practice for dairy farmers. It comes down to self-interest: happier cows make more and better milk; and more and better milk means bigger rewards for the cow- farmer”. - Govin

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