Monday, 18 November 2013

Rubber Mats Instead Of Lying On Concrete Slats. Comfort For The Cattle Or Ease For The Farmer!

Regular readers will know that we built a slatted tank for the moo cows this year.  For the last twelve years or so I have been mucking them out with pike, wheel barrow and giving them straw and shavings to lie on.  There are lots of for and against for slatted tanks.  I think they are great in terms of saving labour for the farmer.  You don't pollute and everything is under one roof.  Not forgetting all that free slurry to put on the silage fields next year.

I just don't like the cattle having to lie down on cold concrete with a sewer beneath them.  So we compromised and made a raised concrete platform for the lads and lasses to rest and chew the cud on.  A local dairy farmer sold me some old milking cubicle rails to make the cattle rest in line.  The cattle soon got used to the cubicles and use them every day.  Archie the bullock still likes to lie on the concrete slats.  That's Archie for you.

Any road.  I still thought that the cattle needed a bit more comfort.  So I bought 8 second hand rubber cubicle mats to place in the raised platform/cubicle area.  You can't give them straw to lie on because it would block the slats and we would be back to mucking them out again.  I suppose rubber is some comfort.  But it's not straw or saw dust.  What do you think?  Should it be ease for the farmer or comfort for the cattle?


New (secondhand) cubicle rails and rubber mats for cattle to rest and chew their cud and ponder on their meaning of life, perhaps?

6 comments:

  1. Hi, I vote comfort for the cattle, then ease for the farmer! (I have purchased a hot water bottle for my cat at the weekend as was fed up of her stealing mine! Lol!) Louise

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  2. I agree Louise. Cattle do need comfort. I much prefer not having to muck out with my four prong pike, bucket and my tractor. Thank you for your comment!

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  3. I feel so sorry for you farmers. Hear all the time about how you are squeezed by the supermarkets. I try to buy from markets, etc and support local small businesses as much as possible. I know how much farmers care about the welfare of their animals and how hard working you all are. Louise

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  4. Your use of rubber mats is very sensible, for it gives comfort to the cattle and also increases the milk yield.

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  5. Thanks for your kind thoughts Louise. Smallholding farming is very difficult to make a living. I think it's a vocation and you have to have a stoic outlook on life. If it was good enough a life for my ancestors. Then it's good enough for me. Animal welfare should be more important than profit - thanks!

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  6. You are so right comfort for the cattle is very important. Happy cattle means increased milk yield and weight gain. You wouldn't rest on cold and wet concrete. So why expect farm animals to do so? Thanks!

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