Everyone knows the feeling of walking on a slippery floor, having to walk especially careful so that we don’t fall. And falling on these floors is definitely not fun. All farmers deeply care about their animals, and dairy farmers are no different. When a dairy farmer sees his/her cows slip and fall on a floor because of it being so slippery, they feel horrible. They know that what it’s like to fall on such a surface, they don’t want their cows to go through it. We have a product that can alleviate some of the worry of cows slipping and falling on these slick floors.
The most natural environment for a cow is a pasture. As we’ve moved more of our cows into barns and enclosures, it’s important to try to recreate the natural feel of resting or walking surfaces that were lost when we put cows on concrete. When concrete is slippery, a cow, just like us, will walk carefully in order to avoid slipping or falling. Cows will shorten their strides, widen their posture and have an uneven gait. If a cow were to walk like this day in and day out, it can cause serious problems in their hooves and claws and can eventually lead to problems with lameness and reduced mobility.
A study completed by University of California Davis focused on 166 dairy cows that were housed on either concrete floors or rubber floors. They found that test cows walking on concrete floors had greater rates of growth and wear on their claws compared to cows on rubber flooring. A cow’s claw is supposed to wear and grow at an equal rate. When walking on concrete floors constantly, researchers found that cows have greater rates of growth and wear.
The study also concentrated on lame cows. It divided the study group into “not lame” and lame cows. By the end of the study, cows in the “not lame” category were very likely to become lame if they were on concrete floors, compared to the cows housed on rubber flooring. In addition, cows on a concrete floor were detected and treated for lameness by the farm more often than on rubber flooring. Keeping cows from becoming lame should be a major goal for all dairy farmers as lameness can reduce production by up to 36%.
Installing rubber flooring in areas such as the holding area, parlor, return lanes, and transfer lanes can aid the cow in becoming confident while walking. Immediately upon installing rubber flooring, dairy cows regain their natural gait. It turns out confident and comfortable cows make it easier to detect the girls in heat and cows are detected earlier as well. A heifer is less likely to mount another cow unless they are convinced they will not slip. When rubber flooring is installed, breeding efficiency is improved.
North Brook Farms has introduced a rugged, anti-slip surface that keeps cows healthy and confident in the alleys, crossovers, walkways, and holding areas. AlleyMat is made from vulcanized rubber with a nylon reinforcing scrim that eliminates stretching and temperature-based expansion and contraction. Our AlleyMat is the perfect rubber flooring to benefit your dairy farm.
With benefits of rubber flooring ranging from reduced cost of lameness treatments, reduced time to move cows to milk, improved breeding efficiency and reduced injury due to slipping, what is stopping you from giving us a call? Take the next step in cow safety and comfort.
Holmes, B. J. What the Research Shows about the Use of Rubber Floors for Cows. University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Extension. Feb. 2008.
Vanegas, J., Overton, M., Berry, S., & Sischo, W. (2006). Effect of Rubber Flooring on Claw Health in Lactating Dairy Cows Housed in Free-Stall Barns. N.p.: American Dairy Science Association.