Space is key to cow welfare on organic farms
Azienda Agricola La Sisile has chosen to invest a lot of energy in the research of animal welfare. The quantity and quality of space available to the cows is a key consideration.
In summer (from May to September) part of the herd moves to the alpine pastures at Malga Montasio, which is located in the heart of the plateau where Montasio cheese was born in the 13th century.
The cowshed is organised in such a way as to ensure the welfare of the cows. The doors are always open, and they decide when to stay under cover and when to graze outdoors. With the high summer temperatures, the cows that don’t go to Malga Montasio have much more covered space. Towards evening, as the temperature drops, they go outside.
Being in the sun is good for cows because it helps them strengthen their bone structure. It’s good for us too, because only cows that live in the sun produce and transfer vitamin D into milk. The main function of the Vitamin D is to control the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus needed for bones, muscles and nerve tissue. It is essential for children under 6, and for pregnant or lactating women.
In the video below Graziano Zanello shows us how the spaces for the cows are organized in the farm La Sisile.