Cow bedding and cow mats mattresses and cubicle dividers

Cubicle size matters in stalls

July 20, 2023 0 By kenyaagr

Well designed and correct cubicle dimensions are regularly maintained in free stall barns: Provide cows with a comfortable, clean, dry lying area, minimizing injuries. In other words, cubicles in dairy cow barns have a significant impact on cow comfort and cubicle size matters in stalls. It increases the sleeping time of the cows and therefore the milk yield.

Targeted sleeping habits for cows

3 hours after milking, 80% of the cows in the herd come to the cubicles, and 5 minutes after they come to the stalls, 85% of them should lie down. It is an indication that the cubicles are properly designed. If the stall cubicle areas where they go to rest are designed in suitable conditions, it will be seen that the cows spend their time lying down and resting in these areas.

If the majority of the cows are standing on the walking paths, all or more than half of them, the condition of the stall floors, softness of the beds, cubicle dimensions, neck bar position should be checked to see if it is properly designed and functioning. etc.

Cow Stall Vs Cow Comfort

Laying is an important behavior that allows cows to rest, ruminate, and therefore produce milk. For this reason, a comfortable, clean and dry resting area should be provided for the welfare, health and productivity of the cows.

Cows usually spend 10-14 hours a day (five or more times a day) lying down.

The comfort of the stall will impact cow lying time. Healthy, productive cows lay down 10+ hours per day in eight to 10 bouts of 60 to 90 minutes.

The comfort of a cow stall, whether a tie stall or free stall, is a combination of the stall size (length x width x neck rail x brisket board), stall bed surface (concrete, sand or sawdust), bedding depth, surface cleanliness and stall bedding moisture.

Healthy cows that lay down 12 to 14 hours per day will produce 1,5 to 4 liters more milk of higher fat content than cows that lay down for 6 to 9 hours. Cows that lay down will ruminant longer with higher blood flow to the udder which supports higher milk production with higher butterfat.

How should the stalls be in free and semi-free stables?

How should the stall be?

It should be friendly to the joints, it should provide a dry area, it should be resistant to slipping, there should be no risk of injury while lying down and getting up, at least one cubicle for each cow and each cubicle should be in size to provide an optimum lying area.

Stall design and dimensions LIVING AREA

Measures to be applied for the number of animals according to age, breeds and management applications for tie-stall barn and cattle breeding are different. Please consult!

Cubicle layout and service areas (recommended Holstein and Simental) minimum dimensions. Closed-front cubicles 260-280 cm / Open-fronted cubicles 240-270 cm

Stall directions and cubicle dimensions

The characteristics of the cubicle elements, their dimensions and their placement on the cubicles form the basis of the free stall design. Cattle welfare should be considered in dairy cattle barn design. Major elements of a Stalls are:

  • Threshold
  • Cubicle Base,
  • Neck rail
  • Head bar
  • Cubicle Dividers
  • Brisket board
  • Bedding.

Recommended Stall sizes

Although it varies according to animal breed, age and breed, the recommended dimensions for Simmental and Holstein dairy animals are given for free and tie-stall systems. Please look below video

In-appropriate cubicle area

It shortens the bedtime and prolongs the standing time. Sleeping in corridors increases. Cows spend more time in the aisles, nails hardly dry, the germ capacity carried in the nails and the podiatry and pollution score increase.

Cubicle floors

Depending on the type of underlay and bed to be used, the characteristics of the pit type / deep-trench pit or elevated cubicle floors are different.

Deep litter cubicle stalls

The depth of the pit / deep trench cubicle should be at least 23-25 ​​cm. Depending on the substrate material to be used, it can be 30 cm deep or more.

Elevated cubicles

the effect of cow beds, mattresses and litter on yield

Elevated cubicle floor: The bed is covered on the concrete base and it is advised to use some chopped straw on the bedding area to absorb moisture.

Cubicle threshold: 20 cm

The threshold should be high enough to prevent manure from entering the cubicle and low enough to allow cows to enter and exit the cubicle easily. Its purpose is to keep the bearing area clean and dry by separating the bearing area from the scraper path.

This height is recommended to be 20 cm. The height of the cubicle should not exceed 30 cm, including the bed, in the cubicle with bed cover.

It is recommended that the width of the cubicle threshold curb be 10-15 cm for deep type cubicles. When the litter level drops, the threshold should not have sharp edges and corners. In general, the slope at the beginning of the cubicle (must be a stumbling slope)

In both types, a slope of 2-3% should be given to the base of the cubicle towards the back of the cubicle. Cows prefer to lie down on the hill, and thanks to this slope, manure, urine and milk leaks that can accumulate on the lying surface, especially in beds and cubicles, are directed towards the service road.

Neck rail / nape bar

The nape bar is the in-cubicle direction that determines the landing and departure of the animals and the area where they stand in the cubicle. It should not be forgotten that its purpose is not to prevent or block animals, but only to guide and give signals to the animal.

Rigid materials such as hard pipes and iron, which are generally used, prevent injuries to animals rather than guide them. For this reason, it is recommended to use flexible materials. Welding should not be used at any point during the assembly of the cubicles with neck rail bar Models: Use Kraiburg – flex

When placing the nape bar, it should be calculated and placed as 1.90m–2m from the cubicle surface as the diagonal hypotenuse.

The minimum ground clearance for the dairy stalls should be 125 cm. The diagonal soft bed section from the neck bar to the rear edge should be 190-200 cm, otherwise the animal cannot bend over, cannot stand on 4 legs on the bedding and refrain from lying down. In addition, it prevents the cow from going too far, allowing it to lie down so that it does not enter the attack area.

Due to improper cubicle dimensions:

  • Animals cannot enter the bedding area.
  • She refuses to enter.
  • Cannot stand on 4 legs on the bed

Neck rail too low / too far back:

  • Cows stand with only their forelegs in the cubicle, the increased mechanical load and the microbial
    concentration cause claw problems on the hind claws.
  • Cows lie too far back or even on the edge
  • Bruising on the spinal column when getting up
    • Shorter lying periods, increased claw loads
    • Cows lying in the walking area, cows standing in the walking area

Neck rail too far in the front:

  • increased soiling of the cubicles
    • Dirty udders
    • Lying damages through softened skin

Flexible neck rest / rail

Thanks to the flexible neck belt (bar), the animals can stand comfortably in the cubicle. No need to be adjusted for animal size and size, and animals can benefit from any hierarchy. In addition, the habit of standing 2 feet out in cows decreases, it prevents nail diseases, hair loss and swelling on the back of the neck.

The elastic neck band is placed in such a way that it allows the cow to stand in the cubicle with all four legs and it touches the upper part of the cow’s neck (neck) slightly. Injury / (sleeping torment) occurs due to incorrect placement of the neck rail. It limits the forward movement of cows when entering and standing at the cubicle. Thus, the cow is prevented from leaving feces and urine in the cubicle.

Neck rail bar: 125 cm Elastic band designed for animal comfort or suspended, coated chain or shock absorbing springs should be used. Restrictive neck rails hinder natural behavior and cause injury. A feeder front that restricts head lift not only affects feed intake, but also forces it to expend excessive energy just to consume feed.

Restrictive neck rails hinder natural behavior and cause injury.

Let her eat naturally for better feed efficiency and prevent Neck edema, Abscess, swelling and neck injuries!

Head band /rail (head-nose)

Head-nose-bar: 80 cm, if necessary for static purposes, it should be at a minimum height of 80cm/100cm. It is not recommended to use iron, if it will be used, it is recommended to use flexible strip.

Brisket Board

Brisket Board 15 cm: At a height of approximately 13 cm, it should allow the legs to be extended, the animal should be able to stretch its legs comfortably, there should be no sharp edges and corners, it is not needed when the chest board and neck rail are installed.

Chest board Brisket board

If it is necessary to use a Brisket board, soft, stretchable material should be preferred.

KRAIBURG Brisket Board

Size matters stall size and animal size

Cubicle Dividers (separation bars)

The width between the cubicle divider varies according to age and breed of the animal. The height should allow adjustments according to heights or ages bu using neck rail or bands. Cubicle spacing dividers should be made in a single standard size for each groups. Elbow and hip hits and injuries increase due to improper anchor anchorage and supports.

Height & Lenght of dividers :

  • The place where dividers mounted on the floor should be at least 190 cm from the bed threshold.
  • The length of the dividers must be at least 175 cm for dairy cows. At short cubicles the animals walk on the bed or stand on their side.
  • To make it adjustable height should be at least 120-130 cm high from the bedding,
  • The bottom part should be at least 40 cm from the ground. For example, as seen at the picture.


  • For Simmental and Holstein cows, cubicle width of 120 -125 -130 cm should be preferred.
  • For Jersey and young animals 100-110 cm is recommended
  • Narrow cubicles prevent animals from entering and using the bedding area.
  • See as below photo.
  • See for product details
Bed lengthBed widthBreed
160-170 cm110-115 cmJersey, Indigenous race
180-183 cm120-130 cmHolstein, Simmental, Brown Swiss
192-200 cm120-130 cmLimousine, shorthorn
Please consult for other breeds and animal ages!

Stall sizes should be set according to your animal breed and ages

If the cubicle size is not proper according to the breeding, race and age of the animals. They may not enter cubicles or lay vertically or rear aside

Are the sizes appropriate for your animals?

The measurements to be applied to animals are different according to ages and breeds! Please consult or see

Dirt score shorten lying time

Incorrectly planned and inappropriate cubicles increase the animal pollution DIRT score and shorten the sleeping time. Therefore, while it causes skin, joint, foot and nail wounds, it reduces milk and meat yield.

cow cleanliness / pollution / dirt score


Cubicle mats: Although they are different according to their purpose and physical possibilities, products such as bed-mattress-mattress-handle are used. Today, natural materials such as sand, sawdust, straw, compost etc. are used as litter in deep-floor cubicles. Synthetic mattresses and mattresses are generally used at elevated stall cubicles. Mattresses containing crumbs, sand, granules, sponge, bondex, latex as bedding. Besides acetylene and rubber sheets, functional rubber cow mattresses are widely used.

Deep litter stalls

Sand bedding

It is reported that the sand thickness should be at least 15 cm in the cubicles with sand based. It is recommended to use an additional 7.5-10 cm thick handle at the cubicle to prevent leg injuries and to keep the bed surface and the cow dry. (Bickert, 2000). Use of SAND bedding

pet bedding comfort

As a result, the use of organic material as litter increases the incidence of mastitis (Palmer, 2005). Since inorganic materials are much less supportive of bacterial growth, the incidence of mastitis is lower. Inorganic materials keep the surface dry by draining moisture.

Organic materials such as mulch straw and sawdust are preferred as litter in deep type cubicles. Organic materials absorb moisture and keep the bed surface dry, while promoting pathogen growth.

More sand or rubber support should be provided to create a 3% slope near the brisket plate in sand-litter stalls. Mattress material POLSTA

Elevated stalls

Animal cow mattress and dimensions (inside the cubicles)

cow bed WINGFLEX illustration (1)

For animal needs and welfare, there are different types of mattresses with different stretching rates (softness), thickness and comfort features.

If the bed thickness is rubber for dairy animals, it should be at least 30 mm thick and the stretch rate should be at least 45%.

There are different types of cow mats according to breed and breeding models; Tie, Semi-Free or Paddock. In addition, Different sizes according to ages of the animals. These mats can be installed as Puzzle, single or continuous.

Cow mat & mattresses


Cow Mattress consists of stuffed covers; its thickness and hardness change over time.

dock picture

Due to insufficient bedding materials, skin injuries occur. Joint damage due to wetness and/or hard ground.

Functional Rubber Animal Mattresses

  • Cow bed dimensions: It varies according to animal age and breed.
    • For adult Simental and Holstein, the ideal bed length should be minimum 183 cm, and the dividers intervals (120-130cm) should be appropriate.
    • For large animals, the width can be 130-135 cm.
Functional rubber cow bed / mat / mattresses
  • If the bed is made of rubber for milking animals, the thickness should be at least 30 mm and the stretch rate should be at least 45%.
  • Maintenance and cleaning: the upper surface can be easily washed; it must be resistant to detergent and acid.
  • It should not allow the formation of bacteria.
  • There should be no gaps between the beds, and functional mattresses should be chosen that do not allow dirt and moisture to penetrate under them.

Measures to be applied are different according to animal breed, age and breed. Please consult!

Cow laying behaviors

Stall sizes for tie animals Link

animal comfort