Veterinarians worldwide may now register for free access to a web-based resource for welfare-friendly dairy cattle facility design, thanks to a generous sponsorship by Pfizer Animal Health.
The Dairyland Initiative, a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, aims to facilitate the construction and remodeling of dairy cattle housing to promote better health and productivity of calves, heifers and cows. The latest in science-based design and facility management recommendations can be found here. Veterinarians should contact a Pfizer Animal Health representative to obtain the passcode for a complimentary two-year web access subscription.
The Dairyland Initiative website systematically addresses each aspect of facility design that affects cattle health and productivity, for calves through adult cows. In contrast to published books on facility design, The Dairyland Initiative’s website is a readily available, iterative and interactive resource, with the ability to be updated as soon as new information becomes available and enhanced as more virtual tours and decision-making tools are built.
There are two decision trees, or prioritized lists of questions and answers, in the “Wisconsin Blueprint” for addressing the needs of adult cow and replacement heifer housing. Answers are supported with charts, photographs, diagrams, video clips, and downloadable spreadsheets to illustrate the importance and impact of welfare-friendly dairy cattle housing. The website is useful for helping clients in decision-making when designing a new barn and also addresses problems in existing facilities which may be alleviated through renovations.