How can we breed better dairy cows?

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Offline thedoc

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How can we breed better dairy cows?
« on: 17/06/2015 10:25:01 »
Jennie Pryce is bridging the gap between breeders and geneticists, in order
to breed better dairy cows.
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or [chapter podcast=1001082 track=15.06.14/Naked_Genetics_15.06.14_1003756.mp3] Listen to it now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 17/06/2015 10:25:01 by _system »


Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: How can we breed better dairy cows?
« Reply #1 on: 16/06/2015 10:11:13 »
Let's hear from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals about the conditions of Dairy Cows in factory farms like one commonly sees in California..


Dairy Cows

Quick Facts

Today’s dairy cows each produce about 100 pounds of milk per day—10 times more than cows living just a few decades ago. This is due to bovine growth hormones, unnatural diets and being bred selectively for massive milk production.
75% of downed animals are dairy cows.
About 9 million cows are being used for milk production in the United States at any given time.
The Basics

Most cows used for dairy production are kept indoors, with some having access to outdoor concrete or dirt paddocks. They are often forced to stand on hard surfaces—something their hooves are not designed for. This contributes to lameness, a condition where cows’ feet become inflamed, making it painful to walk.

Additionally, cows in the dairy industry are forced to suffer through:

Widespread Infections: Unnaturally high milk production leads to mastitis, a painful bacterial infection causing a cow’s udder to swell. In 2007, 79% of farms that reported permanently removing cows from their herds did so because of mastitis.

Surgical Mutilation: Dairy cows often have up to two-thirds of their tails surgically removed without painkillers. Producers believe the udder stays cleaner this way, even though this theory has been disproven. The cows are also dehorned (have their horns cut or burned off), generally without painkillers.


While large-scale dairy operations are typically separate from beef cattle operations, these industries are connected. Dairy cows usually meet their ends at beef slaughterhouses when, at just two to five years of age, their milk production has slowed or they are too crippled or ill to continue in the industry. At that point, they are slaughtered for beef.