Building Design

Interior of cattle building

Most dairy cattle in the UK are housed for some period during the year. The majority of this housing is cubicle based. Some herds will house cows year-round, the quality of cow comfort is therefore a major influence on the potential for problems occuring.

Dairy cows housed in yards on straw, rather than in cubicle housing, have traditionally suffered from much lower levels of mobility problems - with reduced risk of limb and joint damage -  although management of this system is key to minimising the bacterial load and therefore disease.

While the type and complexity of dairy cattle housing may have changed beyond recognition in the past 50 to 60 years, it is also important to recognise that the dairy cow of today is also a very different animal to the cow of half a century ago. 

All aspects of housing are instrumental in dictating the levels of cow comfort and influencing cow health, welfare and ultimately productivity. The quality and type of housing and related facilities are factorial in influencing mobility issues in particular, and are ever more important aspects to be considered when cow comfort and welfare in relation to productivity and longevity are in question.