Introduction

Cows benefit of good and efficient light management in the barn. Simulating a long summer day stimulates growth, heat detection and milk production.

Benefit from optimal lighting requires a distinction between two light schedules: one for young stock and lactating cows and one for dry cows.

Advantages for the hormonal balance

Providing an optimal light intake during the year has a positive effect on the cow’s hormonal balance. The hormone Melatonin decreases while – at the same time – the level of the growth hormone IGT-1 increases. This stimulates the cow’s activity leading to higher feed intake and a higher milk production.

Ideal rhythm
Young stock and milking cows need a so-called ‘long-day photoperiod’ (LDPP). This means 16 hours of daylight and 8 hours of darkness. Dry cows – however – need the opposite: 8 hours of daylight and 16 hours nighttime, a ‘short-day photoperiod’ (SDPP).

efficiency

Advantages of optimal lighting

The imitated ideal day and night rhythm affects both groups positively.

Young stock and lactating cows
Young stock grows faster and therefore reaches the ideal weight for insemination at a younger age.

Lactating cows get more active when they are exposed to an optimal light level. This leads to a higher activity, higher feed intake, a healthy rumen, and increased milk yield, even up to 10%.

Dry cows
Dry cows need to rest more. The dark period allows them to do so which helps prepare for calving and the next lactation period. The SDPP helps to reduce the dry period from 60 to 42 days. And in addition, it not only results in increased milk yield after calving; it also enhances the immune function.

Optimal lighting

Creating the perfect day and night rhythm in the barn contributes to the cow’s health and ultimately to increased milk yield. 

Lely Light for Cows can help you to reach the optimal light schedule for your herd and farm.

Housing and caring

An animal-friendly and productive environment contributes to optimal cow health and well-being. It also lengthens the lactation cycle. By choosing the best and most comfortable design for your barn with the right resources you can improve cow health. Milk yield also increases and costs go down.

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