Give pre- and post-fresh cows plenty of room at the feed bunk.

Data from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine show that subordinate cows in the pre-fresh pen lost 1.6 pounds of milk per cow per day in their subsequent lactation for each 10-percent increase in headlock occupancy above 80 percent. This is based on 24-inch headlocks, or five headlocks per 10-foot panel.

Base stocking rate on bunk space, not cows per stall, insists Ken Nordlund, veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin. In fact, he recommends upping minimum bunk space from 24 inches to 30 inches per cow in the pre- and post-fresh pens.