Full-scale Introduction of a New-generation, Enclosed Cow Shed System to Prevent Decrease in Milk Yields in Hot Weather
* This system is only available in Japan.
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Environmental Systems and Engineering Co., Ltd. (100% subsidiary of Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd. with headquarters located in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, represented by Mutsuhiko Matsumoto) has developed a new-generation, enclosed cow shed equipped with ventilation fans for air intake / outtake on the walls that supply fresh air all across the shed.
The livestock industry is facing a wide range of challenges such as the rising price of feed, strong odors, infectious animal diseases, aging workforce, and lack of successors as more and more people abandon farming. In particular, factors such as the decrease in milk yields and conception rates in hot weather are negatively impacting livestock farming.
Conventional cow sheds are not enclosed, and have ventilation fans in the ceiling that send air in periodically. But open-type cow sheds neither have an appropriate number of ventilation fans nor are they optimally placed, so they do not provide an appropriate amount of airflow. This results in inconsistent temperatures and ammonia gas accumulating in the shed. Conventional sheds are unable to address these issues as well as the heat stress experienced by cows during the summer, and consequently, this stress causes milk yields to decrease.
With the new system, the walls are equipped with ventilation fans for air intake / outtake, and the sensors keep an eye on the environment inside the shed to automatically control the ventilation fans. This keeps the temperature, humidity, and wind speed constant, and realizes an optimal environment for cows.
- Shed environment: Using simulation technology ventilation fans have been optimally placed (ideal number of fans, location). The system provides a constant breeze throughout the shed and creates an optimal environment for cows.
- Biosecurity: This system, which ventilates the entire shed, helps prevent cow flies, horseflies, etc. from getting inside the shed, and from being active. Because it is an enclosed cow shed, it also prevents wild birds from getting inside.
- Odor: By ventilating consistently, the system prevents ammonia gas from accumulating.
Panasonic Environmental Systems and Engineering took part in a consortium represented by the Utsunomiya University, and engaged in an experimental study project both in FY2014 and FY2015 with the help of "GreenHeart T&K" located in Otawara City, Tochigi Prefecture. The study proved that the new system increased milk yields and decreased mating frequency in hot weather.
In the future, based on the "new-generation, enclosed cow shed system," Panasonic Environmental Systems and Engineering will develop systems catered to poultry and pig farming.
About the experimental study
Name of project:
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization's "A project to rapidly develop innovative technologies that help bring to life aggressive agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries (shaping innovative technological systems that draw on the collective intellectual capital of domestic industries and academia)"
Name of experimental study:
An experimental study on how a new-generation, enclosed dairy cow sheds can be less labor intensive, can control the environment inside the shed with precision, and on how technologies can enhance biosecurity.
The study involved approximately 80 cows in an enclosed cow shed compared against existent open-type cow sheds.
- A difference of 7kg/day in comparison to expected milk yields was observed in hot weather (July to October). (The average lactation yield is 30kg/day/cow, so this is equivalent to a 10% increase.)
- During the summer, rate of respiration among cows in the enclosed shed decreased by approximately 8 times per minute in comparison to the open type. From this result, we can infer that the enclosed shed helped alleviate heat stress.
- By using simulation technology and optimally placing ventilation fans, we provided airflow (over 2m/s) inside the shed. This airflow helped prevent cow flies from entering the shed, being active, and also helped bring down the sensible temperature.
- Mating frequency during the summer decreased by one time.
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