The importance that cows rest long enough is well known to everyone. This improves blood circulation in the udder, effective rumination, less stress on the hoofs, drier paws, less lameness, less stress, and so on. But how do you improve the free stalls in existing stables, where space is often limited?
Since seven years there are flexible cubicles for dairy cattle on the market. These cubicles are much less rigid than traditional boxes, and at the same time guide the animals to stand up in the box and lie down straight and correctly. Flexible cubicles are slowly but surely gaining popularity.
Practical experience shows that the cows stand up and lie down faster and easier in a flexible box. During lying down, cows dare to sink much deeper through their paws. The flexibele freestall is clearly perceived as less disturbing than the traditional freestall. This applies both to deep litter as the cow mattress. Big cows can take more space while lying down with flexible freestalls. Their back part of their body rolls better so the cow will rest in a position where there is less weight on their heels. This results in an improved blood flow in the legs while lying down and less damaged heels.
As more cows are resting better and longer, this will create more space for other cows who make their round to the feed, water and / or robot. And that is exactly what you need in the barn.
When renovating a barn, flexible freestalls are a good alternative. You will see the utilization of the cubicles is improved.