Cows can count on more comfort in their cubicles thanks to a farm supplies company in Co Antrim.
Northern Farm Supplies in Toomebridge designed a new 'flat pack' cubicle for cows which is already in use on farms in Northern Ireland.
The company availed of an Invest NI innovation voucher to turn the idea for a new collapsible cow cubicle into reality.
Managing director Kieran Mc Peake said: "The cubicle is different from many on the market because it offers unique features including ease of assembly and installation. While the cubicle is made from galvanised steel, the design enables it to be provided flat-packed for easier transport and adjustment. It can be retro-fitted to existing farms and is sufficiently flexible to fit any building.
"Other important features of the cubicle include greater room for cows and easier access and exit for the animals. If a cow becomes stuck in the cubicle, it has to be dismantled quickly and thereby avoids the animal becoming distressed and perhaps injuring itself. Experience from the farms which are now using the cubicle is that it makes life easier for farmers and means happier and healthier cows."
Claire Herron, manager of the innovation voucher programme, joined company boss Mr McPeake on a visit to one of the first farms in Northern Ireland to use the product.
She said the company had used the voucher to seek design advice from the Innotech Centre at the South West Further Education College in Cookstown.