Dairy cows get groovy

15 December 2008

A dairy yard surface must provide confident footing for cows under all conditions.

CowTimeís Darold Klindworth explains that simple grooving in the cement can make a world of difference to cow flow into the dairy and safety for cows and workers alike.

"Some dairy yards become very slippery when wet or worn. Injury is inevitable when cows (and even workers) slip. A slippery yard surface affects cow flow into the dairy because cows become fearful and hesitate. Itís just not worth the risk because itís so simple to fix."

Concrete yards can have a number of successful treatments applied to reduce their slipperiness. Cutting grooves into the yard surface is a very common solution.

A diamond pattern is easy to construct while providing good traction. For best results:

Diamonds should be at least 12mm wide and 12mm deep.

The points of the diamond should point up and down the slope to help with yard washing.

When doing a new concrete surface, use an experienced contractor with a good track record in cow yards. Many yards have been spoiled by inexperienced installers.

Make sure the surface is not too rough as this causes lameness. To test, walk on the yard in bare feet. If it is uncomfortable for you, itís too rough for your cows.

For more information refer to the CowTime Guidelines (Chapter 4, p 70 and 71)

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