When it comes to cow comfort in free-stalls, bedding management is critical, Dan Weary, researcher with the University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program, told audiences at the Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference.

“We’ve found that if mattresses are well bedded, we can reduce hock injuries to almost nil,” he notes.  His research also shows that cows will spend 1.5 extra hours per day lying down in stalls with ample bedding compared to stalls with minimal bedding.