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Soft walking areas with rubber floors provide for improved walking comfort in dairy cow cubicle houses. Additionally, a well-balanced claw abrasion is desired in order to avoid abnormal postures: these can cause claw lesions and lameness.
Two different approaches with abrasive floors were tested. In both studies there was a control group with identical management and housing conditions.
Control group (42 cows): exclusively soft rubber floor (KURA S in the walking alley), no contact with abrasive floor.
Treatment group (48 cows): soft rubber cover KURA S in the walking alley, driveway to the milking parlour (16 m distance) with mastic asphalt (twice daily, in total 64 m a day)
Two groups of Holstein-Friesian cows were kept in a cubicle house with 150 cubicles and milked with an automatic milking system.
Control group (52 cows): exclusively soft rubber floor (KURA S in the walking alley), no contact with abrasive floor.
Treatment group (63 cows): system pediKURA® S with soft, abrasive mats in the area of crossovers, around the drinking bowls and in front of the milking robot.
The claw measurements were carried out during the routinely claw treatment in spring and autumn.
Claw length was significantly smaller on abrasive floors.
Source: E. Telezhenko and C. Bergsten, 2011: Soft or hard alternative for claw wear when using rubber mats in the alleys. 16th Symposium and 8th Conference Lameness in Ruminants, New Zealand