Ombyggnation av ett stall för bundna mjölkkor till boxsystem för rekryteringskvigor
To reconstruct a building is a long-term investment for farmers and it is important that people with different qualifications are involved at an early stage for making the system adapted to the animals as well the animal keeper. Therefore, ethologists who can contribute with their expertise are needed to design the system and get it to function well for the animals.A Swedish farmer who planned to rebuild her stall for tied dairy cattle to a loose-housing system for recruitment heifers for milk production asked me as an ethologist to find a system which can be fit to her existing tie-stall barn for 30 dairy cows, considering the animal needs in terms of movement, social interactions and play behaviors, and to theoretically compare the system with other systems with respect to the behaviors mentioned.The theoretical comparison between different systems was made through a scientific literature review.In agreement with the animal keeper I set out to fit a system with feeding cubicles, a system with cubicles and a system with deep straw bedding to the barn. After measurements were taken and preliminary drawings were outlined it was found that only the feeding cubicle system was possible to fit to the barn.The space provided will limit the animals to perform some playing behaviors. To decrease aggressive interactions between animals even thought a limiting area it is possible to provide partitions between resources animals compete around to prevent that more than one animal can get success to the resource at a particular place at one time. To increase the animal movement in the system the water trays were moved to the outer wall instead of kept in contact with the stalls.Although this report provides guidelines for rebuilding, other competences regarding building construction and a pre-test of the suggested building solution according to Swedish legislation are needed before the rebuilding can start.The results are directed mainly to the owner of the barn, but the literature review can be used by other cattle farmers and might bring increased understanding of the possible effects of different building solution on the animals.