What type of housing systems provide the most suitable environment for cow comfort as well as udder health?

Researchers evaluated different housing systems that enable cows to thrive in a clean and comfortable environment and examined its impact on mastitis pervalence.


  • Bedding management can have a profound impact on cow hygiene and bacterial concentrations in the bedding substrates, which in turn may affect mastitis risk. The most important factors affecting this relationship include the addition of new bedding, how often the stalls are scraped, housing type, milking system, and herd size. We observed that, on commercial farms, cows prefer to lie down in cleaner and more comfortable environments.
  • Finally, cows with low Body Condition, which were at greater risk of having high SCC, were also the highest producing, had poorest lower leg hygiene, and spent the most time standing.


  • Jean-Philippe Roy (Collaborator, UMontréal)
  • Herman Barkema (Collaborator, UCalgary)
  • Trevor DeVries (Principal Investigator, UGuelph)
  • Dave Kelton (Collaborator, UGuelph)
  • Greg Keefe (collaborator, UPEI)
  • Ivelisse Robles (PhD candidate, UGuelph)
    Not pictured:  Marina von Keyserlingk (collaborator, UBC)