Comfortable cubicles are more than just a place where cows get to lie down. They stimulate resistance, cows perform better and are calm, they give hooves a chance to dry which keeps infections at bay and allow the cow to lie down for 14 hours per day – maximum resting increases milk production, it allows more space for other cows to get to feed, water, brushes, et cetera…
7 tips to ensure a good, comfortable cubicle
- To ensure comfortable cubicles – use the largest cows as the standard, after installation it can be tailored. It should be long enough so the cow can swing her head out without issues when rising.
- Ensure it is wide enough, to avoid trapped teats.
- Withers and knee bars should be in correct position so the cow can stand up and lie straight down in the cubicle.
- If cubicle floors are too smooth or too narrow, this will cause agitation and can get teats trapped when cows ‘scrabble’ with hind legs in an attempt to gain grip and stand up.
- While cows are resting, her teats are usually resting on her hooves or on the floor. It is important to keep the floor clean and dry.
- Bedding samples should be checked regularly for mastitis bacteria that can cause udder infections.
- Put mattress cubicles at a 3 to 4% incline, especially since milk leakage could be greater in comfortable cubicles.
For more more practical dairy farming tips, check out these books.