Two consecutive experiments were conducted over four weeks during winter to investigate the effect of different stand-off pad surface types on dairy cow lying behaviour, cleanness and lameness scores, and urination frequency. In experiment one, 350 Frie-sian × Jersey, pregnant non-lactating dairy cows were blocked and assigned to five treatments for two weeks: fodder beet grazed in situ with no stand-off (control); fodder beet grazed in situ and cows spent 17 hours on a woodchip stand-off (WCG); harvested fodder beet bulb fed in paddock and cows spent 17 hours on a woodchip stand-off (WCH); fodder beet grazed in situ and cows spent 17 hours on a 70 mm round-stone stand-off (S70); fodder beet grazed in situ and cows spent 17 hours on a 50 mm round-stone stand-off (S50). In experiment two, 156 Friesian × Jersey, pregnant non-lactating dairy cows were blocked and assigned to three treatments for two weeks: control and WCG as described in experiment one, and a third geotextile ‘carpet’ stand-off for 17 hours (GC). In experiment one, surface type had no effect on lying time (average 10.1 hours), cleanness and lameness score, or urination behaviour. In experiment two, lying hours were greater (P=0.01) for cows on carpet (11.6) than for cows on woodchip (10.8). While current results showed a negligible effect of surface type on cow comfort and urination behaviour during winter, a longer study, covering the whole winter season, is required to confirm these results.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 77, Rotorua, 137-142, 2017
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