NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Cubicles  (Read 2170 times)

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 09:19:27 am »
I'm asking because we are going to build our new barn this year, and do want to use loose housing, so if there are lessons to be learned...!  Having been back to Monkton Wyld to chat with Simon about their setup there, we're planning something similar.  So the indoors areas will be fully strawed and they'll have access to a loafing yard which will be scraped every day.  Simon's cows were spotless...

I'll be interested to know how they do it then. I wonder whether access to an outside loafing area woudl help - ours clean up really quickly once they're out in the rain.
Voss Electric Fence

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2018, 12:35:41 pm »
Out side area's plus inside lying area have a tendancy to use more straw as the cows get wet and come inside and make it damp  . Could you use sawdust on the cow pats to dry them up , some people say that mixing straw and sawdust /shavings  makes a dryer bed

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2018, 03:03:53 pm »
I look after beef cattle for someone who has bedded area at the back and cleaned maybe once a week at the front and the cows are  dry and clean.

I wonder if you not using enough straw?

I put in a round bale every few days so plenty of thick straw. If you bed it well before it gets wet/muck again then it stays dryer.

Also wheat straw definitely works better as I bed less often when on wheat.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2018, 04:32:04 pm »
I wonder if you not using enough straw?

I put in a round bale every few days so plenty of thick straw. If you bed it well before it gets wet/muck again then it stays dryer.

How big an area for how many cattle? If I put a round bale in every few days, their heads woudl be banging of the roof by now  :)

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2018, 08:51:46 pm »
Obviously you don’t need a big bale often for just a few, but the size of their straw area needs to be big enough...if I think I’ll get a pic of the set up.

What I mean is to keep enough bedding in so it doesn’t get mucky, if the straw is always dry then the cattle can’t get dirty!

Cubicles can be great but there is always one that gets itself stuck somehow and extracting a stuck cow from metal cubicles is not fun for either party!

honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2018, 10:47:46 pm »
I find the bigger the space the cleaner they are in sheds. I have six dexters staying with me and they need about a round bale a week, they are on hay in a ring feeder so the dung is quite solid and they are very clean and lie down a lot.
  We have a small dexter tractor and at the end of the winter, all the muck is shoved out and we get a grab away lorry to take it a way. I just have to do the corners by fork and barrow. I can not stand waiting for a farmer to turn up as and when, the grab company does muck professionally within a day.
  I also deep litter ponies in another shed, the manure drops and compacts over the winter, so its never that deep. I get through a round bale of straw every two weeks, with five ponies.
 

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2018, 11:31:23 pm »
Out side area's plus inside lying area have a tendancy to use more straw as the cows get wet and come inside and make it damp  . Could you use sawdust on the cow pats to dry them up , some people say that mixing straw and sawdust /shavings  makes a dryer bed

Oh, that's an interesting idea.  I wasn't taken by the idea of bedding them on sawdust as I want the straw to be part of their diet - eat a third, lie on a third, dung on a third sort of thing.  But covering dung with sawdust then a layer of straw on top sounds interesting.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2018, 09:16:01 am »
Could you use sawdust on the cow pats to dry them up , some people say that mixing straw and sawdust /shavings  makes a dryer bed

Hmm, would incorporating shavings / sawdust make it less good manure?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2018, 06:21:52 pm »
The advice for shavings and  sawdust is to compost it for a while  , very straw rich manure also benefits from composting .     

marka

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Moray, NE Scotland
  • www.facebook.com/WellsideCroft
    • Facebook
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2018, 09:59:35 am »
Deep bed the whole area and then get someone in to clear it out once the cows have been turned out
Castlemilk Moorit sheep and Belted Galloway cattle, plus other hangers on.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Cubicles / rubber matting
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2018, 01:05:58 pm »
After doing a bit of reading about cubicles and welfare, that plan has been abandoned. Info on AHDB indicates that lameness and leg injuries are more prevalent in cubicles than straw courts (although mastitis was lower.)

Thinking about putting down rubber matting and a light topping of straw to be cleaned daily.

If you don't put down a lot of straw, it's not very comfy for them but my pony had mats like this and seemed to do fine.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2018, 03:55:21 pm »

Also wheat straw definitely works better as I bed less often when on wheat.

One of the reasons it’ll last longer is they’ll eat fresh barley straw but seem to like wheat straw less.  Ex-BH regarded the straw as part of their diet, so spread fresh every day to give them some to munch and always a clean bed. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

F.CUTHBERT

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2018, 10:06:33 pm »

Sorry if i have missed it but what are you feeding them on Rosemary? We fatten cattle and it is important to keep them clean so use a lot of straw. This year has been difficult as the silage we made is so wet and what goes in must come out so the dung is very loose . We bed them every day with barley straw and some of the really hairy types are like armadillos with dung sticking to there bellies. The straw bed can be very warm and a hairy beast in a shed might want to lie in the shitty bit at the feeder cause it's cooler.
As has been said before stocking density is also important more bums = more dung, for us a couple less in a pen can make all the difference.
Very limited experience of cubicles back to student days but they were not very good for cows with calves. the calves needed a bedded creep area. And cows were not the cleanest.
Sand cubicles seem to be the best for cow comfort, would guess deep sand, sawdust or wood chip would be similar.
Sorry i have waffled on but not helped you much,
Feed dry feeds hay or straw, give as much space as you can, bed as often as you can but you know all this.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Cubicles
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 07:23:22 am »
If using sand, I think I read that it's important to get the right sort of sand, as some sands can irritate the udder.  Can't remember more details than that, I'm afraid.

And yes, any cubicles with calves running free will be soiled as the calves pee and poo in the cubicles. 

I used to scrape out behind the Jerseys twice a day, or there was so much poo in the passage, their feet were dirty and then their udders were lying against the dirty feet.  Less of a problem with a suckler who's getting her udder cleaned by her calf suckling frequently.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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