The Gaec d'Éole has a stall building with a cubicle and slatted floor. He uses just 12 tons of straw-winter for the only calf boxes and calving boxes of a "box and slats" stable housing 60 cows followed. An expensive building but cost-effective in operating costs and working time. This building brings a real comfort to work. The absence of dust due to the absence of straw is appreciable, as is being able to feed the animals without starting an engine. 

The objective is to limit the purchase of straw as much as possible and to combine this imperative with the desire to reduce the time spent in the care of cattle during the winter, to devote to their surveillance.

The stable has a total of 1,356 m2 of covered area, including a 22 m2 office-sanitary room, and allows the wintering of 60 cows with a calf. The cost of the stable is € 6,800 per cow place. The stable has 60 head lock but a little less stalls than head lock. The 10 calf pens (5 mx 5 m) also used as calving pens at the start of the calving campaign are positioned in front of the stalls. These huts are bordered by a wide corridor (4 m). Mulching is manual. The calves have free access to the mothers' pens only two hours a day, morning and evening.

The benefit provided is the economic gain and the working time saved: no costs and less working time for the maintenance of the litter (purchase of straw), its cleaning and the management of the manure (spreading, storage).

Lessons learned from this innovation are:

  1. No costs for the maintenance of litter, cleaning and storage of manure
  2. Better work comfort, thanks to the absence of dust due to the discontinuation of the straw blower
  3. The cubicles and slats do not disturb the animals

Literature source: Slats for cows to optimize feed autonomy

Author: Mylène Berruyer - Institut d'Elevage