Free stall dividers and neck rail for optimization of the lying position
The objective when implementing free stall dividers and neck rails is to create as much space between them and the animal as possible. In the commonly assumed chest position, cows lay with their hindquarters positioned sideways. As such, dividers must provide ample ground clearance (at least 70 centimeters), especially in the rear area.
The proper setting of the divider can be checked quickly and easily: Any blank spots on the metal indicate direct contact between the cows and the free stall dividers.
In existing barns, there is often room for improvement in the positioning of neck rails. Investing some of your time is well worth it: The neck rail is the only and most important control element in the free stall. Its position must ensure that a cow can stand relaxed on all four legs in the stall before lying down. Proper adjustment ensures that the rear hooves remain exceptionally dry and clean, a critical factor in maintaining good hoof health!
A deep, flexible neck rail combines many advantages. This design allows the cow to stand in the stall comfortably with its head held high and gently restrains it when lying down to prevent excessive forward positioning within the stall. Upon getting up, the cow receives a prompt – yet gentle – tap on the neck, prompting it to step backward and, if necessary, defecate in the walking alley.