Rubber matting on dairy feed pads isn’t just a luxury; it’s a game-changer. The benefits of integrating quality rubber matting into your feed pad are manifold:
Lameness Reduction: Proper cushioning can reduce lameness in cows by up to 95%, ensuring their well-being and longevity.
Enhanced Milk Production: A relaxed cow is a productive cow. By providing a comfortable surface, you can significantly improve milk production.
Cost Savings: With rubber matting, the need for soft bedding diminishes, especially on feed pads where cows spend a significant amount of time. This leads to tangible dollar savings in the long run.
Easy Maintenance: Rubber mats can be integrated into a flood wash system, ensuring an easy-to-maintain feed pad surface that remains clean and hygienic.
With these benefits in mind, how do you decide which matting is the best fit for your farm? Let’s guide you through the choices.
Understanding the Different Types of Feed Pad Mats
1. Cushioned Mats: Maximum Comfort for Extended Stays
For feed pads where cows will spend extended periods, comfort is paramount. Cushioned mats, like the Siesta mat with a thickness of 30mm, offer a soft surface with air-cushioned cells underneath, encouraging cows to lie down and relax. However, if your primary goal is efficient feeding before moving cows on to milking, such mats might be too inviting. Their comfort could disrupt the flow to the milking shed.
2. Durable Mats: For High Traffic and Versatility
Feed pads with significant movement or occasional machinery interactions demand durability. The Kura mat, with a thickness of 25mm, is designed for such demands. Made from premium German rubber, its high-grip mosaic profile ensures both longevity and grip. It’s ideal for scenarios where you want cows to feed and then proceed, striking a balance between comfort and efficiency.
3. Economical Mats: A Short-Term Solution
Budget constraints are a reality and sometimes you really need a short-term solution now. The Double Stud mat, with a thickness of 23mm, offers essential features at an economical price point, ensuring your cows’ safety and comfort.
Mats to Avoid
- Rolled Rubber: This type of matting can present challenges. Without expansion joints, it can lead to bubbling and tripping hazards. There’s also the risk of effluent getting trapped underneath and potential damage from machinery interactions.
- Large Cleats Over 5mm: Mats with pronounced cleats can disrupt the flow rate of wash, potentially increasing operating costs and causing machinery damage.
- Mats that Don’t Anchor Down: Mats that don’t have an anchoring system are prone to edges popping out of place, especially on hot days or when vehicles drive over them.
Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider
Your mat choice should align with the primary use of your feed pad:
- Duration of Stay: For extended stays, a thicker, cushioned mat is ideal. For shorter durations, especially just before milking, a balanced mat like Kura is more suitable.
- Interlocking Design: Stability is essential. Mats with a puzzle-cut interlocking design ensure minimal movement.
- Anchoring System: A robust anchoring system, such as stainless steel pins into concrete, ensures your mat remains securely in place.
- Longevity: Your mat is an investment. Prioritize durability and value for money.
Your cows’ well-being and the efficiency of your operations are intertwined with the choices you make. By understanding your specific needs, the nuances of different mat options, and key metrics like thickness, you can make an informed decision that benefits both your cows and your farm’s operations.
To discuss your feed pad rubber matting needs with an experienced agri surfacing consultant, call us on 0800 686 119 or contact us here.
30mm thick dairy loafing mat for feed pads, stand-off pads, and general lying areas.
Premium interlocking mat with mosaic profile and thick studded base.
W: 850mm x L: 1190mm
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To ensure this is the right product for your application we recommend speaking to one of our surfacing consultants.
Economically priced multi-use mat with thick rubber studs on both the surface and underside.
W: 1000mm x L: 1000mm