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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 147-154 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA)  701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11615)
Authors:   H.K. House, J. Rodenburg, B. R. Lang
Keywords:   stall design and management, animal health – housing interactions, cow comfort, cow behavior, stall preference

Video time-lapse recording (VTR) was used to monitor the effect of stall adjustments on cow behavior. Field observations were made in a three-row free stall barn of a group of 42 Holstein cows in 52 stalls. Over a three month period the neck rail was raised 11.5 cm (4.5 in) to a height of 127 cm (50 in) above the stall mattress, and the mounting rails were removed from in front of the cows. In all, six changes were video taped and analyzed. After each change the cows were allowed to adjust for a two-week period and then observed for a 48-hour period by VTR.

The data was analyzed by time to include: 1. Cows lying in the stalls, 2. Cows standing with four feet in the stalls, 3. Cows standing with two feet in the stalls, and 4. An empty stall. Stall observations were made every minute. The cows exhibited a high degree of variability in stall use from one day to the next. A positive response to the modifications was observed, but it was not definite in each case.

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