Size and location: Key prerequisites for a calving pen
As previously mentioned, calving pens can vary in their design and functionality. Two primary factors have emerged regarding the animals’ acceptance of the pens: The size and location of the pen.
Once again, a cow’s natural behavior plays a pivotal role here. Particularly important: The cow may want to separate from the herd before giving birth, but it is crucial to maintain optional contact – otherwise there is a risk of re‐barning stress! In terms of the exact location of the calving pen, this means: A secluded area in the barn, not far from the dry stall area and with visual contact to the herd, is optimal.
However, for the cow to feel comfortable, the pen must not only be appropriately situated but also spacious enough to accommodate it comfortably. The overall size of the calving pen must be a compromise between meeting the needs of the cow and considering both economic and ergonomic aspects.
Our general recommendations are:
- 10 square meters per cow in a group stall
- At least 4 by 4 meters in an individual pen