Partition design

There are numerous types of cubicle partitions currently available on the market. The overall requirement of any partition is to provide the cow with maximum comfort, while ensuring that she is correctly positioned. The partition also needs to impart a degree of protection to prevent injury from neighbouring animals but not cause any discomfort or injury to the cow herself.

Many of the traditional designs have partition sections which impinge on the area on which the cow may choose to lie. Lower rails (often installed 400mm above the bed surface) could lead to cows becoming trapped and many partitions with a rear support leg can cause damage to the cow's hock and pelvis.

Suspended partitions (eg Cantilever) with very little restrictions to interfere with the cow at rest continue to be very popular. Although variations of suspended cantilever divisions remain a popular choice, there is little evidence to compare their performance with other partitions. Manufacturers make small design changes but there is little independent evidence-based science to support these adaptations.

Occupancy rates for a range of partition designs

Partition Design

% Occupancy / cubicle


% Occupancy / cubicle

(lying and standing)

Newton Rigg






Dutch Comfort



Dutch Cantilever



Super Dutch Comfort



A recent development has seen the emergence of a simple partition design incorporating a flexible pole.  It is, however, important to ensure they are the correct dimensions for your cows.

One of the advantages of several designs of the cantilever type of partition is that both height and width can be adjusted, allowing small changes to be made with significant implications, for example, for cubicle occupancy, cleanliness and standing position.

Farmers who have installed the flexible pole partition report animals walking along the front of the beds and the manufacturer has subsequently released an updated version of this partition which includes a horizontal rail from the partition to the front of the bed.