Cubical Mattresses in Milk Farming!

There are a number of cubicle landscapes that can affect welfare. In an ideal world, a cubicle will allow an animal to lie down and rest without bumping or rubbing against partitions.

An appropriate cubicle mattresses length will avoid muddying of the bedding and decrease risk of damage. Cubicles mattresses that are too short for the cow or booths with back support legs may cause rubbing and puffiness on the hocks. A good depth and cleanliness of cubicle mattresses will create comfort and also prevent knee swelling and hock injuries. 

The design of cubicle mattresses must be wide enough for the cow to lie restfully but narrow enough to prevent her turning around. The cubicle also needs to lodge the natural growing behaviour of the cow. Brisket boarding that provide space for the cow to grab forward when she kneels down to reach a lying position will help the easy movement to lying which may prevent difficult twisting of the neck, back and front legs. The cow should be provided good comfort and should not be allow to come into contact with the cubicle mattresses in such a way that could lead injury. This is particularly major part when the cow lies down, since the last phase in this movement is unrestrained.

Cubical mattresses that are poorly designed and accomplished can lead to poor tenure, rainy and soiled cubicle beds, increased risk of lameness and udder disease as well as physical harm to the cows.

When a cow gets up from a lying position, she lunges headfirst and transfers the weight from her rear legs onto her front legs as she between 0.7 and 1.0m of space is required to rise easily. She will then raise her rear legs before raising her forequarters. To put up this transfer of weight, the cow thrusts her head forward as she lunges. She will have struggle is rising up if the forward lunging space is controlled. She also pitches one foot forward when rising and any mattresses to this normal movement may compromise the way she raises and maybe lead to lameness and compact cubicle occupancy.

Requirements

• The cubicle housing system has a minimum of one cubicle per cow.

• The milk farming requires a suitable loafing area of at least 120% of the cubicle lying area.

• The head rails should be changeable and placed 150-250mm below wither height and 20% of the length of the cubicle mattresses away from the head of the bed.

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