Concern over animal well-being and morbidity and mortality losses have stimulated more research in the area of transition cow management and behavior.
Two resources highly valued by cows are lying and feeding space. Lactating cows spend approximately 12 to 13 h/d lying down and 5 to 6 h/d feeding. Lying has a higher priority for cows than eating and social contact when these behaviors are restricted.
UW-Extension Clark County Dairy Agent Karen Lutcherhand conducted a study to determine the effects of prepartum stocking density on social, lying and feeding behavior of dairy animals, and the relationship between social rank and stocking density while completing her PhD at the University of Minnesota. The study is highlighted in a Dairy Herd Management Research Nugget Effect of stocking density on social, feeding and lying behavior of prepartum dairy animals. For the abstract and access to the complete research paper please visit the Journal of Dairy Science.