Homemade stall groomer works wonders

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A homemade tool has made free-stall grooming faster and easier at the George DeRuyter and Sons Dairy in Outlook, Wash. The farm designed a 3-foot steel arm that features finger-like projections —sort of a mini harrow — welded onto the end that reaches into free-stalls. The unit is bolted to the tractor and pivots on those bolts for easy maneuvering. The tool makes it easy to groom the stalls that are bedded with composted manure. “It just takes a few minutes per stall and the cows are much more comfortable and stall usage has gone way up,” says dairy partner Dan DeRuyter. “In fact, cows usually choose to lie inside in the free stalls even though they have the choice to lie outside in our open lots.

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