How long before calving do you put cows in the straw yard?

How long before calving do you put cows in the straw yard? Here they have 30 calvings per day. We really like the straw yard. They have one in use and one drying.

Housing and management around calving have a great impact on raising healthy calves. Preventing problems like coughing and diarrhea do not only increase calf welfare, it is also crucial in raising healthy, robust and productive heifers.

What would you do in this system? How long before calving would you put them in the straw? What opportunities and what risks do you see?

We love your input!

Learn more about raising healthy calves

Comments (4)

mark mcwhir

we have a seperate dry cow shed across a road on the farm and we tend to move the cows in groups about 3 days before into straw box as you cant be gauranteed theres helpers about to help move cows when feet are out it works but could be improved

Ebrahim Mbuthia

How exact can we be about the cow calving down in 3 days?Its good to take the cow to the straws close to EDD but I think 14 days before is better as some can calve down earlier than three days meaning a calf can come before the cow is taken to the straws.


We put the heiffers three weeks before EDD in the strawstable, to offten they are calving earlier, uptill more than a week! ( thanks to Sexed-sperm). Also the heiffers have their own straw box with only heiffers, so they can calf within the group, with less stress. After the calving the heiffers have their own groep in the stable for milking cows, they stay 'together' untill the Dry period! This has helped us to increase the stillbirth % to 3% and the Heiffers have low Cell in the milk, average is down for 100.00 cells!

Joep Driessen

Thanks for your reactions, interesting to read different opinions and experiences!

I think, the best option is 10 days before calving.
On large farms with JIT just in time calving is 7-10% too late seen and calves in the stalls/ cubicles- calf in manure…

Straw pack for 5-10 % of the cows is needed!!

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