Friday, 31 May 2024 11:55

Keeping cows from slipping

Written by  Staff Reporters
Farmer Andy Gower says cows slipping on the ramp leads to significant financial losses and animal welfare concerns. Farmer Andy Gower says cows slipping on the ramp leads to significant financial losses and animal welfare concerns.

Andy Gower and his wife Ange have been operating Parawera Farm for 19 years, where they milk 350 dairy cows.

Their farming operations faced significant setbacks due to unsafe conditions on their 2-year-old herringbone shed, where the concrete surface had become dangerously smooth.

The Gowers experienced two costly incidents where cows slipped on the ramp, resulting in significant financial losses and animal welfare concerns.

“When one cow slips over on the ramp, you just think, maybe she was just being silly,” says Andy.

“And then when it happens a day later with the second one, you know you’re in trouble. Two cows at $1,700 a cow, that’s $3,400. Both cows do an average of 400 milk solids at $8 per solid. That’s $9,800 gone just like that. That was the moment for both of us. We don’t like seeing young girls like this,” he says.

To fix the problem, the Gowers chose NumatAGRI VGrip matting based on previous positive experiences with the brand in their old shed. They had explored various options at field days and found that this product the best, especially in terms of design that prevented slips.

Installing the NumatAGRI mats proved straightforward and efficient. Initially, the cows were hesitant due to the new surface texture, but within three days, they adjusted well, confidently navigating the ramp without any slips. The installation process was swift, completed in just three hours between milking sessions, minimising disruption to the farm’s operations.

The introduction of the mats has transformed the safety and efficiency of operations at Parawera Farm. The cows now exhibit no hesitation when using the ramp, significantly reducing the risk of injuries. The ease of maintenance with the mats has also been notable; cleaning procedures remained as simple as with concrete, with excellent drainage that allowed for quick and easy washdowns.

Andy was pleased with both the product and the service provided by the company.

“Everybody from the salesmen to the guys installing it have been awesome to deal with. They just rock up, get the job done quickly, and the results speak for themselves.”

Andy says the installation of matting at Parawera Farm has not only safeguarded the welfare of the cows but also protected against potential future losses related to animal injuries.

“It just shows the value of investing in highquality, effective safety solutions that deliver both immediate and longterm benefits for farm operations,” he says.

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