• Development of cubicle housing increased labour efficiency of cattle farming, but animal welfare is a critical factor
  • Productivity of grasslands and crop management systems increased over the years – however soil structure, soil life and biodiversity of grasslands are becoming poorer
  • Good integration of housing and  farming facilities in the landscape and natural housing conditions of animals positively contribute to societal acceptance.


The aim of this project is to research and further develop economic sound free walk cattle farming systems elevating animal welfare, health and manure quality, while being appreciated by society


  • housing like in meadow - animal welfare and health, society perception
  • composted material as bedding –  re-using and as soil improver
  • combination of housing and grazing
  • diversification / eco-farming - utilization housing facility and bedding material in summer for plant growing or for pigs / poultry?
  • Experimenting with artificial floor - high welfare / cow garden floor system

Expected effects

Expected positive effect on:

  • animal welfare and health longevity
  • antibiotic use
  • manure quality - soil structure
  • society appreciatio
  • overall economics

Expected effect uncertain:

  • handling and composting process of bedding
  • NPC-balances

Challenges for bedded pack barn:

  • manure quality - available nitrogen
  • milk quality - thermophile bacteria
  • costs of stable and bedding
  • acceptation housing construction by society

lenges for cow garden:

  • cleaning and functioning of artificial floor


    • Multi-actor approach: wide spectrum of partners
    • 5 industrial partners sub-contracted
    • International oriented: already seminar planned in
      Kentucky in 2019
    • Socio-economic research with freewalk and cubicles farms provides public and stakeholders with picture of alternative ways of farming

      For holistic approach of project, see Figure below.
      For holistic approach of project, see Figure below.
      Barn measurements and cattle scoring time planning scheme
      Barn measurements and cattle scoring time planning scheme