Foot health is important to Scott and Brian Blevins. So, when they built their 2,500-cow dairy in Stansfield, Ariz., they designed a footbath system that was easy to manage and could deliver the results they wanted.
Here’s how it works. As cows exit the parlor, they have fresh water available to drink. Next, cows enter the first bath that is just water. Since cows often defecate and urinate when they step into a footbath, this first water bath gets that out of the way. The first bath is drained and cleaned after every two pens of cows. Because of the two-bath system, the copper sulfate bath remains viable for the entire milking, and they end up using less copper sulfate overall.
The 6-foot long footbaths are made of concrete and contain large drain plugs to facilitate easy cleaning. (See inset photo.) Four-foot tall concrete walls provide the sides of the footbath. Since the footbaths are built right into the alley, cows don’t look for ways to step around them.