1984 - Volume #8, Issue #2, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Leave The Lights On For More MilkLeaving the lights on in your dairy barn 16-18 hrs. a day can boost milk production 5 to 10%, according to experiments conducted recently by Oregon State University and Michigan State University animal scientists.
Object of the tests was to see if milk production would increase if a cow's day was artificially lengthened during the winter months when there are fewer natural daylight hours.
Lloyd Swanson conducted the tests at OSU using high-pressure sodium vapor lights in a high-ceiling free stall barn that was open on two sides. His tests showed a 7% milk production increase when the cows had 18 hrs. of continuous lighting.
At MSU, H. Allen Tucker says his tests boosted milk production 5-10%.
The MSU tests were conducted in a completely controlled environment, exposing the animals to 16 hrs. of light a day using fluorescent lights. Cows in all stages of lactation increased production.
Both scientists concur that the reason for the increased production is that the cows eat more and thus produce more. They also agree that 24 hrs. of continuous light offers no further advantages. It only uses up more electricity.
Tucker notes that he's also tested heifers and bulls and they both show improved weight gains with increased light periods. However, he was unable to duplicate the test results with steers.
Click here to download page story appeared in.
Click here to read entire issue
To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.