Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.

If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.

Effects of flexible or fixed stall dividers on lying behavior and preferences of dairy cows

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

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-1341.(doi:10.13031/2013.41563)
Authors:   Lars Erik Ruud, Knut Egil Bøe
Keywords:   Dairy cow, Flexible stall divider, Free stall, Loose housing, Stall divider

A free stall should be the preferred place for a cow to rest, however, there exists several stall designs that are not optimal. The objective of present study was to investigate effects of stall dividers on lying time, lying position, stall cleanliness and to investigate the preferences of dairy cows for stalls with traditional fixed dividers or flexible dividers. A crossover design with 16 non-lactating cows were kept for nine days in single pens with two types of dividers, one stall with fixed cantilever dividers and one another with flexible dividers. First the cows were given access to one stall type, then the another one. Finally they got access to both types in a preference comparison. Stall divider did not influence on lying behavior (13.5 vs 14.0 h), lying positions or stall cleanliness, however, the cows clearly preferred stalls with flexible dividers. The preference of the cows indicates that they are able to distinguish between types of stall dividers and that stall divider design is of importance for them, even though it is not clear if the reason for their choice is the shape or the yielding properties of the dividers.

(Download PDF)    (Export to EndNotes)