Litter on elevated cubicles of dairy cows - Practical Experience
Litter on elevated cubicles of dairy cows - Practical Experience

Litter on elevated cubicles - comparing different materials

In its cubicle a dairy cow needs moisture-absorbing litter, which is soft and skin friendly at the same time.

Why litter in elevated cubicles at all?
  • the cubicle is constantly soiled by excrements, urine or milk
  • depending on the ambient temperature the lying cows sweat out moisture through their skin
The outcome:
  1. Hair roots are damaged, which causes hair loss.
  2. The skin is moistened, which reduces its protective function.

For these reasons the moisture must be absorbed by litter.

Joint findings using different litter materials on KEW Plus lying mats

joint health with different litter on elevated cubicles: best option is milled straw

Source: DLG Test Station in cooperation with LfL Freising, from DLZ special edition No. 21, 2008

Clear result: milled straw has the best water absorption capacity (absorbs 4 to 5 fold water weight) and is the most skin friendly litter option.
Source: DLG Test Station in cooperation with LfL Freising, from DLZ special edition No. 21, 2008

Important
  • Critical: Wood shavings/saw dust: skin damage from grinding effect or small pieces of wood possible.
  • Important: Lime and sanitising powders: follow manufacturers’ recommendations – overdosage can dry out the skin and irritate it!
  • Tip: make a rubbing test regularly with litter material (especially with wood shavings, saw dust and lime) on the back of your hand!
Littering Tip:

Milled straw, chopped straw or ground straw pellets (alone or as a mixture with a 1:1 ratio of straw to lime (Top Agrar 07/2008))

  • milled straw/chopped straw: approx. 300 to 500 g per day
  • ground straw pellets: approx. 200 g per day

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