Surefoot™ Slip Resistant Slats
Slipping is a major welfare concern, and injuries from falls can be a significant financial loss to farms. We have been driven to find a solution and are pleased to introduce our Surefoot™ Slip Resistant Slats which offer 50% more grip than conventional slats.
We have worked with a number of bodies including Queen’s University Belfast and Dairy Veterinary Consultancy who conducted research on the Surefoot™ slats on our behalf. These studies have found a numerous advantages of Surefoot™ including –
- Improved animal welfare
- Less slipping and injuries
- Improved heat detection/Better bulling activity
- Healthier feet
- Improved cow confidence
- Less bullying
Studies found that there is a 7 fold reduction in culls as a result of cows slipping when they are housed on Surefoot™ slats. Gait analysis shows that cows walk more confidently on Surefoot™ slats by taking longer strides in comparison to the other surfaces. This increase in confidence results in more feeding bouts and therefore an increase in production.
Improved Heat Detection
The studies found that cows housed on Surefoot™ Slats have a mean calving interval of 393 days. This is lower than the UK average of 410 days. Farmers surveyed found Surefoot™ slats to have a range of advantages in this area:
- Positive effect on oestrus activity
- Strength of bulling behaviour/more mounting activity
- Cows are easier to identify for service
Surefoot on appearance looks to have an abrasive surface, and to eliminate this concern feet were lifted and examined on a number of farms where cows had been housed for 8 weeks or more. None showed abnormal or excessive wear.
A considerable number of farmers indicated that lameness has significantly improved since their cows were housed on Surefoot Slats.
1) Reduced casualties from slips: £30.96 per cow per year
2) Reduced lameness: £12.37 per cow per year
3) Reduced calving interval: £16.50 per cow per year
The cumulative cost benefit of housing cows on Surefoot slats is likely to be in the region of £59.83 per cow per year for a typical herd.
The video below is of a cubicle house with Surefoot™ slats all round except for at the end of the cubicle runs. It is clearly visible that the cows prefer to remain on the Surefoot™ surface when possible, avoiding the visibly more shiny brushed finish slats.
“I now run the bull with my Holstein Cows, whereas I didn’t dare to let the bull in with cows on the previous floor.” John McFadzean, Mauchline, Ayrshire
“We feel the cows are more confident on the Surefoot™ slats. This can be confirmed by the positive bulling activity we see. With the new confidence on their footing we are getting great yields and plan to purchase some more.” Richard Roberts, Anglesey, Wales
“We would definitely say that the cows’ confidence has increased since being housed in our new cubicle house with the Surefoot™ slats. The cows are visibly cleaner and we have not observed any excessive wearing of the feet.” Jane Glover, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire
“We opted for Surefoot™ slats on the entire walking area of our new building and have had nothing but positives since first introducing the cows. There is plenty of grip on the slats. When we released the bull into the shed we did not experience any issues, all went to plan. It would only take one cow to slip or fall for you to cover the extra cost incurred in opting for Surefoot™ slats.” William Galloway, Portwilliam, Wigtonshire
“The cows’ confidence on the Surefoot™ slats is much better than on conventional brushed slats which we have in other sheds. You can definitely see this confidence in their gait. Even for myself walking on the slats I move a lot faster and feel more secure on the Surefoot™ slats. It is definitely a far superior product. Moore Concrete did an excellent job from start to finish.” Thomas Steele, Kircubbin, Co. Down
For further information please contact a member of our agricultural sales team on 028 2565 2566, Ext 1.