The sole of a cow’s foot needs to be a minimum of 0.25 inches thick or the cow “is in big trouble,” says Jan Shearer, veterinarian at the University of Florida. Rubber flooring in strategic places can help correct thin soles, Shearer said at the Western Dairy Management Conference. Here are his recommendations, in order of importance, for placement of rubber flooring:

1.         Holding pen.

2.         Parlor exit lanes.

3.         Alleys leading to andfrom the parlor.

4.         Where the cows stand to eat.