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Comfort mats for
Regardless of whether cubicles are elevated or deep bedded, lying animals often place their tails outside the cubicles because they have lain down too far back. This happens despite several efforts to give the animals more and more freedom (neck rail as far forward and upwards as possible) to ensure that the cow can stand comfortably with all four legs in the cubicle before lying down. So why does she often lie down so far back? The key factor is the distance between the neck rail and the brisket board ...
This results in the general recommendation for the horizontal distance between the neck rail and the manure edge to be 160 – 170 cm1).
When the cow lies down, her carpal joints hit the (rigid) brisket board. This usually makes the cow lie down too far back or at an angle, at the latest when she lies down the next time.
Sufficient distance between the neck rail and the brisket board must be provided to avoid that the cows hit the brisket board when lying down and therefore place themselves too far back. This can only be achieved when the lying area is long enough (> 190 cm). Then standing with the hind legs in the cubicle is still possible.
In order to ensure an animal-friendly design of the lying areas, a minimum length of 190 – 200 cm should be taken into consideration for new buildings in the long term. In existing barns, practical tests have shown that removing the brisket board may be a solution when the lying areas are too short. In this case however, the control devices must be individually adapted to the new situation.
1) Source: Landwirtschaftskammer NRW (more recommendations on dimensions may vary depending on the manufacturer of the barn equipment)
Have a look at this interesting example from practice: