If you want your cows comfortable in their cublicles, this is what you pay attention to

A main factor for healthy and productive cows is rest. The aim is to get them to lie down for 14 hours. To do this, cows need to be able to get up and lay down easily without touching any metal. Especially in cublicles, it is not always easy for the cows to get comfortable. This is how you do it right.

Watch the video. Our trainer Christian Manser designed this barn in Switserland. Here are the key factors:
- 200 cm between the woods on the floor, so 2 meter resting surface
- Limestone-Straw-Water mix 4kg:1 kg:1 kg
- free head space
- Flexible neck chain for positioning

Compare Christian's design to three other examples:

1. Cublicles with neckband
- not bad, but neck band will wear away
- would prefer the side bar 10 cm up
- would put the connection tube on 160-165 cm to make sure the cows never touch it

2. Combination
- Extra space underneath front bar doesn't make sense in combination with the neck rail
- Knee rail is too high

3. Single shackle
- Hair will get stuck in the shackle. We prefer a cover with pvc or rubber
(like shown in picture above)

Let us know what you think! What else should we pay attention to?

Comments (6)

Jennifer Hood

Hi how long do the cows stay in these cubicles?

Martijn

When i see the video i have Some question , there are two cubicles and in the between them is so Much place ? Sometime a cow when she want get up is going to front , is there a possibile That she going under the shackle and standing between the cubicles?

Owen Atkinson

In response to Martjin, I believe the large gap between head-to-heads is crucial and a very good feature of Cristian's design. It may seem like wasted space, but in fact cows are more likely to lie straight as there will be no head-to-head conflict with her herd mates opposite. Compare with example 3, with only a 1m space: cows will lie diagonally in these cubicles which leads to dirtier beds, sideways lunging, and greater likelihood of lesions from the dividers (even though the rest of the dimensions might be perfect). For cows walking through into the middle: yes it will happen sometimes, but simply have a sliding top rail and removable chain at one end to walk her out again.

owen Atkinson

I am interested in the limestone/straw/water mix: I have no experience of this. Does it stay soft? Chopped straw? Mixed in a mixer wagon? For deep beds only or suitable for top-dressing mattresses too? Why add the water? Thanks in anticipation of your replies!

Anouk Brinkhoff

Hi everyone, thanks for responding.
To answer your questions:
Jennifer: the cublicles are a resting area for the cows, were they can lay down when the want. They are free to walk around the barn and go to the feeding table or drink water.

Martin: I think Owen already answered your question!

Owen: We also see 6-1-1 but that gets to hard (like concrete…. In a few weeks / months)
We also see 2-1-1, a lot softer but you loose more bedding material so you need to fill in Weekly and cost you more.
Best compromise is 4-1-1, filling weekly.
Limestone and water is the glue for the mix, so you loose less straw then when only using straw!!!
Limestone also has a little disinfectant effect.

Caterina Cremonesi

Cubicle shape and size together with shape and size of free stall are the key to have rested cows. We manufacture prefabricated cubicles for both straw bedding and mattress which are specifically designed to help cows to lie down straight and to get up easily without body injuries. The cleaner and drier the cubicle bedding is the longer the cows lie downmc

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