Electric trainers in tie-stall barns

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Source: National Farm Animal Care Council Code of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals – Dairy Cattle, Section 3.14

The proper placement of trainers contributes to stall and cow cleanliness and udder and claw health. Incorrectly positioned trainers prevent some cows from showing strong signs of heat, making heat detection difficult and contributing to poor reproductive performance (48). Electric trainers will train cows to step back when arching their backs for defecation or urination. The purpose is to position cows so they defecate or urinate in the gutter, rather than the stall bed. The correct location above the chine is slightly ahead of the point where the back begins to arch when a cow defecates or urinates.

REQUIREMENTS

Energizers for electric trainers must not exceed 2500 volts.

Electric trainers must have a height adjustment.

Electric trainers must be located over the chine when the cow is standing with her hind feet near the gutter curb.

RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES (36)

  1. ensure electric trainers do not restrict the normal eating, standing or lying behavior of cows
  2. ensure trainers do not restrict access to feed or water
  3. raise the trainer bow to a higher position when a cow is expected to be or is in heat
  4. ensure trainers have a secure attachment so they do not fall upon a cow and cause abusive damage
  5. adjust the distance between the trainer bow and the top line of the cow to a minimum of 2in (5cm) for training (usually a 24-hour training period is adequate) (49)
  6. adjust the distance between the trainer bow and the top line of the cow to 4in (10cm) for maintenance
  7. ground the energizer to a rod outside the barn and not to any stabling within the barn.

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