Dairy cattle in the Cornell Dairy Research Center in Harford, NY (Cornell University Photography).
Image by Jason Koski

Dairy cattle

Cow Comfort

Dairy cow comfort has been determined in many research trials to measurably lead to longer cow life, lower cull rates, better comfort for the animals, and increased net returns to farm profitability. In an ever challenging economic environment for dairy farmers, investments in cow comfort can return many times over the initial costs for upgrading. Recently, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County created two videos addressing dairy cow comfort. The first is “Dairy Cow Comfort in Stall Barns” and the second, “Dairy Cow Comfort in Free Stall Barns”.

The videos feature Dave Balbian, a Cornell CNY Dairy and Field Crops Team member as he interviews Central New York dairy farmers about their experiences and thoughts about cow comfort, and possible upgrades to consider for their facilities, or those which have already been made. In both tie stall and free stall barns, items to consider for cow comfort are stall length and width, types of bedding, different types of mattresses and mats, the height of mangers in front of cows, the height of neck rails, and the placement of waterers.

These films are also available, free to the public, on YouTube.com. On this site, simply type in “Chenango Cow Comfort.” Twelve grazing oriented films produced by CCE Chenango in 2012 for the Cornell Small Farms program can also be accessed by searching “Cornell Small Farms”.

Helpful Links and Information:

Identify Bottlenecks

Management Decisions for Immature & Frosted Corn Silage

Estimating Corn Grain & Corn Silage Yields

2013 Dairy Of Distinction Application


Rich Taber
Grazing/Ag Economic Development Specialist
(607) 334-5841 ext. 1121

Last updated July 10, 2023