Cubicle renovation

Cow barns from the nineties are as comfortable as a Golf 1. They don’t fulfil the needs of the significantly bigger and more productive animals nowadays.

The question is: how can the cubicles be modernised efficiently? The ground plan of a lying area cannot be altered much after construction. However, improvements are possible – and certainly meaningful, as this practical example demonstrates.

Profile:
  • 45 dairy cows
  • elevated cubicles with rubber mats

Three measures for improving cow comfort were implemented:

1. Raising the neck rail

Cubicle renovation: neck rail was raised 

By installing variably adjustable distance pieces, the neck rail can be raised.

2. Improving lying comfort

old, defective mats were replaced 

Defective mats were replaced.

3. Installing brisket boards

Before alterations

Before renovation upright boards were used as brisket boards 

As brisket boards, upright boards and timber beams were used.

After alterations

After renovation the cows are lying totally laterally on the ergoBOARD brisket boards made of rubber 

In their totally lateral resting position, cows enjoy the comfort of the renovated cubicles to the fullest.

For the test, various brisket board variants were installed:

KRAIBURG maxiBOARD

maxiBOARD Bugschwelle made of rubber is being installed 

The solid rubber cleats are 175 cm long and 11 cm high. For installation holes have to be drilled into the floor every 35 cm. Afterwards they are fastened, so that the first centimetres of the rubber mats are overlapped.

the cow is lying with front leg stretched out on the maxiBOARD brisket board made of rubber 

Completed: the maxiBOARD makes it possible for the animals to stretch out their front legs; simultaneously this brisket board influences the lying down process of the animals very well.

KRAIBURG ergoBOARD

the ergoBOARD brisket boards are installed in front of the cubicle mats 

The rubber is available in lengths of 115 and 120 cm. At 18.5 cm it is higher than the maxiBOARD brisket board. But the rubber is softer and the incorporated rounded indentations are advantageous for positioning the front legs and head when lying down.

the cow is lying comfortably in totally lateral lying position on the elastic ergoBOARDs 

Starting the very first day the animals acted very comfortable with the ergoBOARD. Combined with a little straw as litter material, this brisket board comes closest to providing optimal lying comfort by fulfilling the animals’ needs.

By the way: as a pleasant side effect of this renovation, it turned out that despite higher neck rails, the animals did not excrete more in the cubicle, but tendentially less.

Source: Zäh, M.: „Sanierung von Liegeboxen: Die Kühe werden's Ihnen danken!” aus profi, 03/2014

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