XL lying lengths are the right choice
for the future!

Modern barn housing relies on long lying areas. 
For more animal welfare and greater productivity.

Dairy cows are getting larger. This is based on a simple rule of thumb: Due to its high rumen capacity, a large-framed cow can consume a lot of forage and achieves a better milk yield with a stable metabolism. What sounds so simple, always comes with a side effect though: A larger animal requires more space in the barn. The cow should thus be given sufficient room in the free stall. However, the maxim “the more, the better” is not the perfect solution. It is more important to find the optimum dimensions to balance healthy lying and economical stall design.


"Deficits in free stall design have a direct impact on animal health and productivity."

Prof. Dr. Barbara Benz, Nürtingen-Geislingen University for Economy and Environment

Generous free stall dimensions are now a standard feature in barn planning. For example, greater width and gentler animal control are provided (dividers for more freedom of movement, flexible or curved neck rails, ergonomic brisket boards, etc.). Additionally, the design now allows for greater depth in the free stalls. If the lying areas are too short, the cows lie down too far back or at an angle. This results in soiled free stalls, as the cows urinate and defecate in the actual stall.


Modern, future-oriented barn housing is based on the following parameters:

  • No overcrowding

  • Soft, dry lying areas

  • Sufficiently wide and, above all, long lying areas 

  • Enough head space for movement

  • Well-positioned neck rail for gentle, stress-free control

  • Use of an ergonomic brisket board that does not hinder the cow when stretching out – or even no brisket board at all!

XL length for XL productivity!

Real-world experience with longer lying areas above 1.90 m in elevated stalls has been very positive.

When a stall is set up and controlled properly (horizontal distance between neck rail and brisket board at least 25-30 cm), cows position themselves better in the stalls and lie straighter and visibly more relaxed due to greater free space at the front. The general recommendation for the horizontal distance between the neck rail and the manure edge is 160-170 cm. To accommodate these distance markers, i.e. manure edge - neck rail - brisket board, free stall flooring with a length above 1.90 m is required. When combined with longer lying mats, everything works out perfectly. This not only increases lying comfort but also significantly improves the cleanliness of cows and elevated stalls, as the tails are mainly within the stall.

Advantages for cows:

  • Increased cleanliness

  • Improved joint health

  • Less stress due to gentle control

  • Forelegs can be stretched out toward the front

  • Standing on all four legs in the stall is possible

  • Reduced risk of injury as the tails are within the stall

Advantages for farmers:

  • Less cleaning effort

  • More milk yield

  • Less bedding required

  • Lower veterinary costs

  • Less investment and maintenance costs as there is no brisket board

Dirty free stalls, reduced lying times?

Longer free stalls offer the solution!

Two years ago, the Primbs family dared to experiment and converted six free stalls to a lying length of 1.92 m on a trial basis. The brisket board was removed for this purpose. With outstanding success: The lying position improved significantly in over 90% of the cows. After a 6-month “test run”, all the free stalls were ultimately converted.


Our longest ones – fit for the next generation

Our comfortable KEW Plus mattress system offers excellent lying comfort in the XL lying length of 1.92 m. The 3-layer composition ensures ideal and long-lasting softness for every load condition. With KEW Plus TarsaCare, the new, pliant comfort zone in the hock area provides that little bit of extra lying comfort – specially designed to protect the sensitive hock joints and to keep them as dry as possible. Our robust KIM LongLine continuous roll system is also available in XL lying length. The maxiBOX is also offered as a 2.15 m version with an internal dimension of 1.9 m (effective lying length 2 m) for elevated deep bedded stalls.

KEW Plus mattresses with a length of 192 cm

"Our cows continue to grow and get bigger, meaning they position themselves too far back on the shorter lying areas. And this is why we installed 192 cm long KEW Plus lying mats in the new barn. The cows like to lie in the longer stalls and their tails are also generally inside and not outside the stall. Moreover, the cows lie straighter in the free stall.

I’d definitely recommend the 192 cm long lying mats. In fact, we’d also like to retrofit the longer mats in the old barn for this reason."

Asam farm, Hofstetten, Germany

"I’d definitely recommend the 192 cm long lying mats. In fact, we’d also like to retrofit the longer mats in the old barn for this reason."

Julia Asam
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