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How to ensure lighting is sufficient

Challenge

Cows are sensitive when it comes to the amount of light in a barn and are daytime creatures, therefore when it comes to lighting it is important to get it right. The right amount can lead to increased milk production and an increase in feed intake. Hence its paramount to ensure optimal lighting in the barn and the parlour.

Sufficient lighting as well as a good view of the whole shed are necessary to observe all the animals, here the central stucture is causing an obstruction.Photo: Roodbont
Sufficient lighting as well as a good view of the whole shed are necessary to observe all the animals, here the central stucture is causing an obstruction.Photo: Roodbont

Best practice approach

1. Make sure that the light is checked with a lux meter in the barn.

2. The level in the barn for the cow should be 200 lux at the least. With less than 200 lux, the cow will perceive this as night time.

3. To ensure optimal lighting, make sure that skylights are clear. Optimal lighting can also be achieved with an increase in air intakes or electrical lighting.

Sufficient lighting means you should be able to read easily anywhere in the shed. Photo: Roodbont
Sufficient lighting means you should be able to read easily anywhere in the shed. Photo: Roodbont

4. Sufficient lighting as well as a good view of the whole shed are necessary to observe all the animals, ensure that structures in the barn are not obstructing the view of the animals.

5. When milking in the parlour, there should be sufficient light especially on the bottom of the udder. In the working area 250 lux minimum is enough to provide a pleasant working environment.

6. A good tip: Sufficient lighting means you should be able to read easily anywhere in the shed.

How to ensure lighting is sufficient