Innovative Housing System For Dairy Cattle In Practice – Farm Case From Slovenia
In Slovenia, on dairy farms still predominate tied-in housing system. Due to the need to improve animal welfare and animal health, especially young breeders - future farmers are considering changing the housing system for dairy cows and young stock. In the first place, they put the construction of a modern free barn with cubicles where the animals will have more space, more comfort, a better microclimate.
Farmers are aware that better breeding conditions for their animals are an important investment in achieving greater milk production, better milk quality, improved animal health, reproduction and longevity. More and more breeders are also opting to set up a milking robot, which allows automatic milking and gives the breeder more time to control his herd.
However, some farmers are opting to set up innovative systems for free-walk housing system without cubicles which looks like “Cow Garden”. One such farmer is Simon Čretnik, who is the first in Slovenia to opt for the most modern free-walk housing system, where the lying surface is covered with permeable floor, which enables immediate urine removal. His innovative housing system is described in this paper.
Key words: dairy cattle, housing systems, innovations, animal welfare, investment