Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 1099-1107
Published online 2019-08-26

Comfort Indicators in Free‑Stall Housing of Dairy Cows

Dimo Dimov1, Ivaylo Marinov2

1Department of Applied Ecology and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2Department of Animal Husbandry – Ruminants and Dairy Farming, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Received April 18, 2019
Accepted July 29, 2019

In recent years the dairy farming massively went from tied to free housing of dairy cows, and more widely in conditions of Bulgaria the semi open free‑stall barns housing system is applied. One of the main factors associated with cow comfort in this housing system are the dimensions and design of the individual stalls. Indicators for stall comfort can be postures of cows when using the – standing with four or two legs in the stall, standing or lying diagonally, lying back in the stall, and more, these postures can also greatly guide us on the specific design problems that make stalls uncomfortable for the animals. In uncomfortable stalls cows spend less time resting and more time standing on the concrete floor of the technological alleys. Comfort indices are quickly and easily applicable to assessing comfort when used in general practice. For their correct application, careful consideration should be given to factors that affect their values ‑ farm activity schedule, time of reporting during the day, season of reporting, etc.


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