We recently visited The Schnieders veal farm in Germany. They explained why EASYFIX Veal Slat Rubber is worth the investment and why it is the obvious white veal flooring choice.
Friedrich Schnieders and his twin brother Klemens Schnieders have operated a calf fattening business since their schooldays. The Schnieders first farm was in their hometown, in 2010 they moved to the outskirts and in 2013 they started another farm. Nowadays they fatten white veal calves for the company Denkavit. They plan to continue in the fattening calves, as they consider the business to have great potential in the future.
Since the Schnieders began veal farming they have observed closely, continuous developments in the industry. The have come to the conclusion that installing a welfare-friendly rubber floor works better for the calves comfort and performance. They visited various farms in Holland and observed that the calves lie and walk better on rubber flooring.
The calves knees and heels are spared, and since they have a larger and more secure surface, the calves can lie and walk better. The stables remain clean and the calves are much dryer and cleaner than on wood. For this reason and also taking into consideration the wellbeing of the animals, they opted for rubber flooring.
In 2013, when they designed their barn, rubber was not a major issue. But the brothers carried out extensive research and realised that it would become one in the future. They looked at several rubber flooring options at the Hannover Fair and found that the EASYFIX Veal Slat rubber was rounded, which means that the urine runs off through the slots. Even if there was urine or manure it drained away, providing a much cleaner surface for the calves to lie comfortably on.
Furthermore, EASYFIX has a soft inside, much softer than other rubbers floorings. EASYFIX Veal Slat Rubber has air chambers beneath, and that is why the calves feel warm and comfortable.
“Since the first ones we saw were solid rubber and EASYFIX has got an air chamber in the middle, we know that this is why the calves lie on a soft and warm surface. The air chambers also have an insulating effect. Moreover, we found out that calves with bone problems or calves that do not have strong bones, who lie on EASYFIX Veal Slat Rubber flooring, will develop strong bones. We have never had a calf whose bone problems, did not disappear.”
The Schnieders observed that, when the calves feel comfortable they gain more weight, they need less medicine and the air in the stables improves. They found that in their stables the air is good, as the manure has been drained, the direct results of this are rapid weight gain, fewer expenses for medicine and more comfort for the calves. They believe that an animal that feels comfortable will automatically gain more weight, everyone will testify to this.
In Germany, there are no government grants or subsidies for rubber flooring. Farmers should do this or that, but you are not obliged to. The Schnieders started to take all those points into consideration, and nowadays they are really glad they did so. When building their new stable, it was clear that they should think of the future, otherwise they would have chosen a wooden floor, which would have to be replaced after five or seven years.
The Schnieders installed the EASYFIX Veal Slat Rubber – VR77. Their floor is five years old now, and except for some small details it is 99% or even more than 99% in a tip-top condition. This is why they would always make the same choice.
If you would like more information on our welfare-friendly white veal flooring options contact us.
We will be more than happy to help.