UK: INT

EASYFIX Slat Rubber Trial at Kildalton

EASYFIX RUBBER SLAT MATS – UNIQUE FEATURES

  • Rubber is long lasting and strong with an appropriate balance between softness and resilience.
  • Its exclusive profile maximises drainage from the slatted floor.
  • They can be applied to new and used slats.
  • Slat mats pieces are designed to fit all makes and types of slats.

MATS INSULATION QUALITIES

  • Metabolisable energy (M.E.) = 80% of gross energy.
  • Net energy (N.E.) = 60% of gross energy.
  • M. E. – heat increment = N.E.
  • N.E. is used for animal products & maintenance.

The insulation properties of EASYFIX rubber matting reduces heat loss from the animals, thereby increasing Net Energy levels.

 

APPLICATION

 

 

  • EASYFIX rubber slat matting has a rubber wedge system – it is imperative that the correct size wedge is used.
  • These wedges are fitted down into the gaps between the slats.

 

Disadvantages with Concrete Slats

easyfix

 

1.  Prevalence of stiffness and swollen joints in cattle increases, after spending more than two months on concrete slats. Prolonged periods on concrete slats reduce the animal’s weight gain and thrive. Animals are more uncomfortable and their ability to get up and down with ease is hindered.

Pictured here is a Friesian bullock with a swollen knee.

research-3

 

2. Animals on concrete slats sway from side to side while standing, shifting their weight onto alternate limbs.
This is due to pain and discomfort, as cattle on concrete slats will either stand up or lie down for long periods of time.

 

research-4

This picture shows a bullock on concrete slats getting up with difficulty. As a result of painful knee joints, the animal tries to get up using its front legs first to avoid bearing weight on his painful hind limbs. This is not a normal way for a cow to rise.

Research Carried Out on Slat-Rubber: Dirt Score Results

dirtscore

  • Continental cattle on EASYFIX slat rubber mats were 0.3 of a dirt score category less than cattle on concrete slats.
  • Friesian cattle on EASYFIX slat rubber mats were 0.6 of a dirt score category less than cattle on concrete slats.

 

A.D.G. Results

adgresults

  • Continental cattle gained an extra 0.13kgs live weight every day on EASYFX slat rubber.
  • Friesians cattle gained an extra 0.15kgs live weight every day on EASYFIX slat rubber.

 

Average Pen Weights:

avgpenweight

  • Continental cattle on EASYFIX Slat Rubber were 14.2kgs heavier than cattle on concrete slats.
  • Friesian cattle on EASYFIX Slat Rubber were 10.1kgs heavier than cattle on concrete slats.

 

  Grip

  • Small bubble-like grooves and perforations on the slat-mat enhance grip for animals while walking and getting up and down.
  • Slat rubber mats have roughly three times more grip than that of a bare concrete slat.

cow

  • Having extra grip boosts the animal’s confidence, and they behave as if in their natural outdoor environment.
  • Cattle are often seen to be licking or “grooming” themselves, expressing confidence in their foothold as illustrated by this picture.

Step Length

Comparing the step-length of cattle on the concrete slat with that of  the EASYFIX slat-rubber produced the following results

  • Step length of 78 cm on EASYFIX Slat Rubber Mat.
  • Step length of 56 cm on concrete slats,
  • Step length of 80 cm on pasture.

Void Area

  • The slit void area difference is 2.9%
  • Due to narrower void areas on EASYFIX rubber mats, there is a more even weight distribution on their hooves which aids in eliminating lameness.
  • Despite the smaller void area in EASYFIX Slat Rubber, cattle were still cleaner than those on concrete slats due to the gradient on EASYIFX rubber enhancing the drainage of dung and urine.

 

Price Difference & Economic Viability:

friesanspricedifference

 

Each Friesian on EASYFIX Slat Rubber mats made an average of €37.44 more than cattle housed on bare concrete slats.

Economic Viability*:

Are EASYFIX slat-mats financially feasible to the finishing beef farmer?

Price Difference per animal = €37.44

Price Difference per m2 of slat rubber = €17.00

Cost of EASYFIX Slat Rubber = €55/m2

Number of winters required to earn payback for investment €55/€17.000 = 3.2

120 day winter

* Economic viability update based on current market prices.

Conclusions

  • Animals were cleaner and gained more weight when housed on EASYFIX Slat Rubber.
  • No animals became lame, nor subject to stress or injury on the EASYFIX Slat Rubber.
  • Cattle behaved more confidently, were more comfortable and energetic on EASYFIX Slat Rubber.
  • Cow step length was an average of 22cm longer on EASYFIX Slat Rubber than that of concrete slats.
  • EASYFIX Slat Rubber has around 3 times more grip than concrete slats.
  • Cattle on the concrete slats got up less frequently and with difficulty, and were stiffer. They stood up and lay down for longer time periods, and shifted from side to side while standing.
  • It takes 3.2 winters to earn back the cost of EASYFIX Slat Rubber, where the length of winter is 4 months, making them economically feasible to the finishing beef farmer.
  • 100% natural rubber compound ensuring EASYFIX slat rubber will not lose its shape.