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September 2019
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Prince Philip Award at Livestock Show

Congratulations!

Kingshay is recognised as informative and practical.

Kingshay was awarded the RABDF Prince Philip Certificate of Merit for its exhibit focusing on cow comfort at the recent Livestock Show, with judges placing it as the second most practical and informative stand at the show.

The exhibit was based around a theme of comfortable cows being profitable cows – as they get in calf, have less health issues, produce more milk and live longer. “We know that cows should spend 14 hours a day lying down and a cow will give 1.5 litres more milk for each hour of lying time up to that target,” said Kingshay’s Duncan Forbes. And the broad topic has been the subject of many of Kingshay’s independent investigations, including cubicle design and bedding materials.

“We have 17 different makes of cubicle division and lying surfaces being tested at our farm base in Somerset, allowing us to identify the key elements of an effective cubicle,” added Mr Forbes. “We want a cubicle that positions the cow correctly, allowing her to lie down and rise without fear of getting trapped or injured. These are all common issues with many cubicles in use on farms today”.

“Our own cubicle design with its unique, patent pending, angled top rail that allows precision positioning of the neck rail helps address these issues. But our investigations also mean there are many tips we can give on improving comfort in existing cubicles before autumn housing.”

The eye-catching, hands-on bedding materials exhibit attracted much attention from visitors, with clear beakers showing the amount of the same amount of fluid each material absorbed or allowed to drain through. There followed much discussion on the merits and place for absorbent or free-draining material benefits in terms of cow comfort and disease.

Farmers also asked the Technical Team about good building design, light levels, air flow and other essential elements of a comfortable cow environment and were able to take away a Cow Comfort Checklist to assess how comfortable their cow housing was at home.