4 Jun 2013

Movement of cows to new farms

6:33 am on 4 June 2013

Hundreds of dairy herds were on the move at the weekend as sharemilkers shifted farms to take up new contracts at the start of the new dairy season.

For some, it meant a walk down the road to a nearby farm, but most cows are moved by truck many to new regions or even across the Cook Strait.

Dairy NZ said it's a big logistical exercise moving herds of several hundred pregnant cows, and preparing them properly for the journey is paramount.

If the animals are not properly prepared, animal husbandry team leader Nita Harding said there can be problems with animals either not being in good shape when they arrive, or potentially even dying on the truck.

Dr Harding said if there are interruptions to travel because of things like bad weather that can make a difference as well.

She said farmers need to consider contingencies in case something unexpected happens.

Dr Harding says well prepared herds can travel with no stock losses at all, so it's possible to do that with good consideration for animal welfare and have all the animals arrive in good shape.

But she said it does need preparation to do that.