EASYFIX at the cutting edge of cow comfort at UCD’s new €2.3m facilities

EASYFIX has worked with UCD throughout the planning and installation of the new dairy housing unit at Lyons Estate.

The opening at Lyons Estate in Straffan, Co Kildare, comes almost a decade after the college authorities decided to retain the land. Lyons Estate was originally purchased by UCD in 1963. The estate consisted of approximately 1,200 acres including Lyons House.

Repro Free: Tuesday 19th January 2016. Picture Jason Clarke.

In the early 1990s, the university disposed of the house and approximately 620 acres of land. The farm now consists of approximately 580 acres. It is used for teaching and research field activities by the School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine.

Commenting on the launch at Lyons Estate, PJ Burke from EASYFIX said “Since EASYFIX’s foundation we have enjoyed a long working relationship with UCD, Teagasc and their research facilities in Ireland. We are acutely aware of the importance of research and the esteem in which UCD Agricultural and Veterinary School is held throughout the world.

When we were approached by Dr Finbar Mulligan to partner with UCD in a collaborative approach, we were delighted to get involved. We think that a working facility like Lyons Estate allied to various; ongoing research programs are both important and necessary for the Irish Dairy Industry.

We are a leading provider of solution driven products for the dairy industry. The new dairy housing unit incorporates 240 EASYFIX Cubicles and Double Foam Mattresses, walkway matting at the feed face as well as rubber matting in the collecting yard, race, and isolation pens.

The new facilities are designed to provide best in class cubicle housing and to maximise lying times of up to 14 hours per day. Cows enter the cubicles in a relaxed state and the flexible plastic tubing with rubber loop has been designed to prevent bruising or injuries to any part of the animal.

The Double Foam Mattress incorporates 50mm of latex foam in a 500 micro sealed envelope. It provides a very high level of comfort and an injury free environment for the high yielding, high EBI herd.

To facilitate feeding with a diet feeder they installed EASYFIX Easyfeeders. The plastic trough system has a smooth and rounded surface which maximises feed intake, minimises waste and is easy to clean.

Rubber matting at the feed face is also proving very successful. The focus on cow comfort was extended to areas where cows stand including the feed face when feeding and pivoting when leaving the feed area. This instillation facilitates better, faster movement of the cows and minimises lameness in the herd. Observations from the collecting yard have identified a fast throughput of cows with no slipping or injuries as cows enter the carousel rotary.”

Going forward EASYFIX will work in conjunction with UCD on research projects that will quantify and define better ways of improving the overall environment of dairy cows, particularly in respect of cubicle type and design. They will also examine the optimum level of comfort cows needed to reach their true production potential.