Excerpts from Hoard's Dairymen articles
on concrete grooving
SURFACES WITH GROOVING
GROOVING HELPS PREVENT COW INJURIES
Many cows are lost every year to injuries from slippery floors. Not too many die from that fall or slide on the free stall barn floor in the barnyard, but many do end up as hamburger in the farm freezer.
Costly milk losses result from cattle reluctant to walk on the slippery alleys to get to the feed bunk. And cows hesitate to mount when in heat because of the fear of falling, lengthening calving intervals.
These all add up to dollars out of your pocket that you can least afford.
How much can you afford to lose before you take action? Would investing in floor grooving boost income on your farm?
When the first free stall barns were built, smooth, slightly sloped floors were a source of pride to the craftsmen who installed them. Farmers liked them because they were easy to clean with scrapers or skid-steer loaders. For awhile they caused no problems.
LEARNED THE HARD WAY
People look at this as an alternative because they can do it themselves which, at the time, seems to be cheaper, he added. But, when Statler compares the floors he later had grooved to the area which is scrabbled, he is sure that grooving is the way to go.
GROOVED NEW BARN
“The grooves don’t clean out well,” he says. “If I were to do it again, I would concrete the floor and broom it; then in a couple of years have it sawed.”
Statler can tell the difference in his cows since having the floor grooved. There have been fewer cow injuries, the cows are more willing to mount in the barn when they are in heat and the cows move more easily and are not as skittish, he says.
The saw does a neat job. Not only did the scrabbling take more work, it left a lot of debris which needed to be leaned up.
“I’m sure that the area of the floor that was scrabbled will wear down more over time from scraping,” comments Statler.
Statler and Burkholder use a rubber scraper on the back of a tractor to clean the barn, and they like the clean job it does without any interference from the grooves in the floor.
GROOVERS TRAVEL THE COUNTRY
The grooves catch the cow’s foot as she walks to stop her from sliding, but the grooves are not large enough to cause problems with scrapers.
Nelson decided to have the grooving done after losing several cows on the slick floors. Since then, he hasn’t lost any cattle. Some of nelson’s neighbors have scrabbled their floors, but the local veterinarian is concerned that the scrabbling is too rough for the cows’ feet, causing hooves to wear down too much.
Even during severe Vermont winters, Nelson says the grooves still prevent cattle from falling on slick floors. He adds that, had he known the grooving process would have taken as much water as it did, he would have had the fire department’s tanker bring in the water needed.
As with any type of work done on the farm, check out the contractor. Ask for references and check them out. Farmers never hesitate to tell which contractors do what they promise and provide a satisfactory job. Costs range from 45 to 70 cents per square foot.
CONTACT US BY E-MAIL TODAY!
Dick Meyer Company, Inc.
N236 3rd Ct. - Coloma, WI 54930-9000