The Benefits of Slat Rubber Versus Housing on Concrete Slats
In beef production, animals are traditionally housed on bare concrete slats. However, in recent years there has been a move toward the introduction of slat rubber flooring and this is now the case throughout the UK.
What is the driver behind the shift towards slat rubber?
Issues with concrete slats
Two of the main reasons farmers are introducing rubber slats are animal welfare and profitability.
Housing animals on concrete flooring can quickly lead to stiffness and swollen joints. They then have a tendency to shift their weight from one side of the body to the other in a swaying motion. This movement in their limbs leads to sore joints and they then have difficulty getting in and out of a lying position. From a productivity point of view this is not a good scenario.
Animals often suffer from lameness when housed on concrete slats for long periods of time. If an animal slips on the concrete flooring and is injured it is less likely to eat resulting in lower average daily weight gain– which has an adverse effect on productivity. Unfortunately, in severe cases, lameness results in premature culling.
Once the main issues of housing animals on concrete slats are identified, it quickly becomes obvious why many facilities are investing in rubber slats for their housing solutions.
Finishers say that approximately £40/€50 extra is netted per animal each winter when they are housed on rubber. The cost of investing in the slat rubber generally comes in at £110/€121 per animal and can be recouped in a little over two years. And this is only the commercial aspect; there are also clear benefits in terms of animal welfare.
Benefits of Slat Rubber
A reduction in significant health issues such as lameness and swollen joints has been a key influencing factor in the move towards slat rubber. Rubbers flooring for slats offers more comfort for the animals and ensures it is far safer to move around indoors. Rubber flooring is also very easy to clean, so good hygiene levels can be maintained.
Extensive research goes into all our products. Our award winning SR Slat Rubber System has been farmers No.1 choice for over 20 years. It was designed to improve animal comfort, welfare and the performance of beef cattle housed on concrete slats. The new reinforced design has a high grip profile and 8 year warranty.
When it comes to rubber flooring EASYFIX SDR Slat Rubber is our latest revolutionary product. It is softer for increased animal comfort and improved welfare. The smooth and sloped surface with slip strips facilitates fast run-off and cleaner cattle. The rubber flooring provides animals with a safer and confident walking and lying surface.
Interested in learning more?
If you are interested in our slat rubber products and would like to find out any more information please get in touch.