These are permanent, engineered structures, in which dairy cattle are housed and provided with their daily dietary requirements and water. The term ‘freestall’ refers to the bedding area where cattle are provided cubicles (stalls), where they may lie downFreestall housing for dairy cows has many different layouts and the space allocated for cows differs considerably. The objective of the present study was to investigate possible associations between barn layout and milk yield for different parities in small dairy freestall barns. Layouts of 204 Norwegian freestall barns constructed during the period from 1995 to 2005, and with a mean herd size of 42.7 ± 15.5 cows, were obtained and merged with milk yield data and calving interval, for each parity, from the Norwegian Milk Recording System (NDHRS). The milk yield data set contained 20,221 different lactations from these 204 herds. Both simple mixed models, including the different explanatory variables one by one together with parity, calving interval, and herd as random effect, and a final mixed model, including all significant explanatory variables, were created


  • Significant improvement in feed ration utilisationHerd
    • All weather facility to control and manage herd comfort, minimising production downturns during adverse weather (heat and cold)
    • Minimises production losses associated with herd travel to and from grazing
    • Better herd monitoring may be possible e.g. heat detection, animal welfare, BCS
    • Possible reduction in herd lameness (if cows are not standing in mud or on concrete feedpads for long periods of time)Management
    • Minimises farm maintenance costs associated with paddock renovation following pugging and compaction
    • May increase pasture production (if home grown forage retained)
    • Reduces farm maintenance costs associated with laneway surfacing and paddock gate entrances
    • Opportunities to capitalise on more advanced effluent management with liquid, slurry and solid products more readily available to compliment fertiliser applications


  • Freestall partitions
  • Brisket locator
  • Base or stall bed
  • Neck rail
  • Bedding layer
  • Curb

Proper dimensions are critical to the performance of a freestall. For uniformity, most stall dimensions are taken from the top rearmost point of the freestall alley curb.


Animal Weight (lbs)Total stall length
Closed front
(LSC) (in)
Total stall length
Open front
(LSO) (in)
Length to brisket tube or >board (LB) (in)Length to neck rail (LN) (in)Stall width center to center
(WS) (in)
Height to top of partition
(HP) (in)
Height to neck rail
(HN) (in)
Brisket board or tube height
(HB) (in)
900 – 110090-9678-8264-6662-6441-4342-4442-444-6
1100 – 130096-10280-8666-6864-6643-4544-4644-464-6
1300 – 1500102-10890-9668-7066-6845-4846-4846-484-6
1500 – 1700108-11496-10270-7268-7048-5248-5248-524-6


$2,500 – $3,500

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