Rubber mats ease flow through parlour

Rubber matting on parlour standings and exit route can improve cow flow by 33 seconds a cow a day, according to new research findings.

Presenting preliminary findings at Livestock 2012 from an EasyFix trial at Kingston Maurward College, vet Nick Bell from the Royal Veterinary College said results showed “special needs” cows were set to benefit the most.

“Special needs cows, including lame animals, were 70 seconds a day quicker through the parlour over two milkings on matting.

“Farmers generally notice a big difference in confidence of cows coming in and out of the parlour and report fewer cows going down in the parlour with rubber matting.”

EasyFix’s Ronan Boyle said producers needed to look on a farm-by-farm basis as to where to position matting.

“Most foot damage occurs where cows have to pivot, so mats should be installed where there are sharp turns.”

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