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CrazyDaizy

Worried about cows on the farm

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Hello, not sure how much experience of working farms anyone has got on here, but I am concerned about the welfare of young cows on the working farm in Wales where my daughter keeps her horse/sheep. Since my daughter started keeping her horse/sheep there, a number of young cows (I'm guessing about 20/25 of them) have been kept in a barn for the past 4/5 months. They can look out and see people/animals go past their gates. They are regularly fed (hay/silage) but they have not seen a green field in all this time, and their barn is awash with their droppings/wee so that it's smelly and disgusting (apparently it is hosed out every now and then) They lie down on hard concrete and in all the muck. My daughter does not seem worried, and I don't want to ask the Farmer who owns the farm as I don't want to cause any bad feeling etc for my daughter.

 

Is this normal to keep young cows like this over winter? (It's Spring now though)

 

Should I be overly concerned about this do you think?

 

My daughter has pregnant ewes that remain in the barn, and also some lambs in another section of the barn, but she looks after these and they are regularly cleaned out, even though these don't see green fields (daughter says once the ewes have their lambs, and the other lambs are older, she will let them into the field)

 

She has a horse that is in the field every day so not concerned there.

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Keeping cows in over winter and early spring is quite normal - they will be warmer and drier, especially with all the rain we have had this year. Wet fields can cause issues with feet called foot rot. I would imagine the farmer is waiting for the grass to grow a little before he puts them out.

 

Having watched "this farming life" on BBC2 recently, cows in Scotland can be kept in for upto 8 months a year. Definitely worth a watch if you can get catch up tv.

 

Hope this helps and puts your mind at rest.

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It is perfectly normal and allows the grass to grow ready for them when they are turned out in Spring time without making an unholy mess over the winter and they will still require fed.

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