Housing dairy cattle

Housing dairy cattle

Housing dairy cattle is a vast topic with a huge amount of research having being done in the last few years. 

Every type and size of system will have its own challenges it is important to build housing to be farm specific and look for practical solutions to risk factors identified.

Housing dairy cattle successfully requires: adequate stocking density, comfort including bedding and cubicle design, walking surfaces and adequate feeding and loafing space available. 


Assessing cow comfort 

Cow outcomes are essential to assess if cows are comfortable in their housing. 

Examples of cow measurable outcomes include:

  • Hock lesions
  • Cleanliness of cows
  • Lesion scoring
  • Stall standing index
  • Lameness issues with a large number of bruising or sole ulcers
For the majority of herds management of lameness is most challenging during the housing period. The articles and fact sheets below are intended to guide you on designing or modifying your dairy facilities.
Building design to reduce lameness2
For a comprehensive and general guide to dairy cow housing please refer to the AHDB Dairy guide to housing