Cattle farming

Agriculture - agrotechnics | Cattle farming

Sustainable development in cattle farming is a new and recently opened theme. Determination of indicators of sustainable development and their participation in the overall development would have to be clearly defined in the future. In cattle farming emphasis must be placed on the biological and health characteristics of the cows themselves, because they depended on their productivity, and hence the viability of the whole production. 

When we talk about sustainable development as a category on which we must take care of cattle, we think of animal welfare, productivity and health where it should be no artificial influence and with the least possible use of drugs or chemicals. Dairy cows are animals under heavy load. Strong one-sided selection resulted in potentiation of catabolic axis in the body and reduced capacity to overcome stress, whether it be heat stress or stress due to the application of chemicals. Therefore, the cows need special care and feeding conditions. Evaluating the welfare of cows is quite a complex process, because the benefit is interpreted in different ways. Productivity is much easier to define and is reflected in the increase and the production of milk, and as the most important indicator of potency and productivity of cows according to calving interval (which should ideally last year). Health indicators are the link between productivity and welfare. Only healthy cows is free of pain and can provide enough quality milk. The aim of this paper is to explain the relationship between high productivity, well-being and health in order to identify objective indicators of the sustainability of dairy cattle breeding.


GREEN GROUP, together with its partners is governed by these rules and implement them in modern argrotechnical measures into account to gain a sustainable system of cattle farming. We seek to implement modern tendencies, even before the prescribed EU regulations on cattle farming.

Knowing the principles of livestock production starting from the basic definition of sustainable development, the method of induction and deduction, we will give a precise division factor for sustainable development in cattle. The veterinary profession is the most important social category of sustainable development, which involves the relationship between productivity, health and well-being of the cow, which will be specifically analyzed here. The definition of sustainable development implies that the system is sustainable (agricultural, farm, etc.) economically efficient, environmentally compatible and socially responsible. It is therefore important to define indicators in three dimensions: economic, environmental and social. Economic indicators include many different indicators, but the most significant productivity and financial stability, ie. efficiency. As a direct indicator of these indicators can be used number of cows on the farm and their milk production. The economic effect that the motive for further production is return on capital and income. When it comes to economic indicators livestock production can be considered sustainable, but it is essential that States provide incentives for agricultural producers for each unit produced (milk, the calf, the amount of meat). Thus stimulate the production, which is essential for the fulfillment of production quotas for the EU.


Ecological indicators are increasingly gaining in importance in recent years, taking into account the many changes in our planet. It has long been known that the expansion of agriculture decreased biodiversity, water is too exploited, soil and air are polluted chemicals and emissions increase. Basic sub-categories of environmental aspects of sustainable development: energy, biodiversity and waste management. On a dairy farm energy is mostly spent on: lighting, milking machines and milk cooling and ventilation. Biodiversity means the size of farms in the area and its expansion into natural ecosystems. In addition, the more important parameter of biodiversity would be the genetic diversity. It is well known that the genetic variation is lower, the lower and genetic vigor, it is possible manifestation of a recessive gene, which reduces the number of animals surviving and threatening biodiversity. Waste material is a major environmental problem in the farms, the most important aspects of waste management are storage, processing and usage of natural manure, leading to the possibility of biogas production.

Social category is defined as the ability to provide a good standard of life of individuals. In cattle farming Social Indicators of sustainable development include: well-being, productivity and health of the cows. Animal welfare is its degree of adaptation to the conditions that allow quality of life in terms of food and supplies, accommodation areas, physical, psychological and thermal comfort, safety, expression of basic behaviors, social contact with animals of the same species, the absence of unpleasant emotions and personal experiences as as pain, suffering, fear, stress, boredom, illness, injury, etc.. Animal welfare is evaluated based on: clinical examination and determine the health status of the animals (physiological, functional well-being) testing the physiological manifestation of behaviors and innate capacity to meet basic needs for testing the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative emotions in animals (emotional well-being) and testing benefits of living conditions that should match the type, race, gender, age group and other animal character.


The allegations are the main gaps in the provision of welfare in cattle farms. The following show the importance of failure: management, planning and organization of animal welfare, curriculum, providing welfare of animals, microclimate conditions, animal breeding, animal breeding hygiene), providing all the necessary conditions for the expression of normal animal behavior, animal health care and animal biosecurity. These indicators could be included in important social indicators of sustainable development.

By providing a benefit is provided to excessive levels of health, reproductive and productive functions of cows. It has long been proven in cattle to express milk, and other production traits depends on reproductive efficiency, ie. regular expression of estrous cycles regular establishment of pregnancy and the birth of normal offspring and normal estrous cycle reestablishing.

Universal indicator of reproductive efficiency in cattle is the calving interval (the period between calving). Interval between calving should be 355 to 365 days, and it consists of gestation pregnancy rates, and service period. After a gestation of physiological and gene set for each type (cattle average of 280 days), length of calving interval will depend on the duration of the service period. Service period represents the period from calving to establish the following successful conception. The ideal would be that it takes up to 80 days. Every day extension of service period through optimal results in a decline in milk production of 4.5 to 6.75 L in the current lactation.


Reestablishing of estrous cycle depends on many factors, but a healthy cow can regularly eat and abiding pregnant. In this sense social - health indicator has a crucial role. For future reproductive activity plays an important role peripartum metabolic stress and negative energy balance in the body of cows immediately after calving. It is well known that cows which have a pronounced negative energy balance often suffer from various peripartum diseases (ketosis, mastitis, metritis, retention of placenta, lameness, abomasum, hypocalcemia, and fatty liver), which adversely affect future reproductive efficiency. Therefore, it is important to protect the energy balance of cows in the peripartum period. On the other hand, decrease of energy metabolism and the formation of peripartalnih disease is related to the productivity of cows in the previous lactation milk yield by showing a negative effect on health of periparturient.

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