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Case Study: Characterization of milk yield, lying and rumination behavior, gait, cleanliness, and lesions between 2 different freestall bases
- Jones, Barbara W., Stone, Amanda E., Wood, Connie L., McQuerry, Kristen J., Clark, Joey D., Ray, Denise L., Bewley, Jeffrey M.
- The Professional animal scientists 2017 v.33 no.1 pp. 140-149
- animal well-being, barns, case studies, dairy cows, free stalls, gait, hock, milk yield, rumination
- The objective of this study was to compare cows housed in a freestall barn with Dual Chamber Cow Waterbeds (DCCW; Advanced Comfort Technology Inc., Sun Prairie, WI) as freestall bases to cows housed in a freestall barn with rubber-filled mattresses (MAT; Promat Inc., Woodstock, Ontario, Canada) as freestall bases. Forty-six cows were housed in the DCCW freestall barn, and 51 cows were housed in the MAT freestall barn. Milk yield was not significantly different between cows housed in the DCCW freestall barn (29.40±1.02 kg/d) and the MAT freestall barn (28.61±1.15 kg/d; P ≥ 0.05). Lying time was greater for cows housed on DCCW (10:32 ± 0:13 h/d) than for cows housed on MAT (9:47 ± 0:15 h/d; P < 0.01). Rumination time was greater for cows housed on MAT (6:44 ± 0:08 h/d) compared with cows housed on DCCW (6:29 ± 0:08 h/d; P = 0.03). Hock scores were lesser on cows housed in the DCCW freestall barn (1.86 ± 0.03) compared with cows housed in the MAT freestall barn (1.97 ± 0.04; P = 0.02). The differences observed between these 2 bed types with lying times demonstrate that DCCW may benefit animal well-being compared with the MAT treatment.