Keep rubber flooring at the bunk

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Yet another study supports the cow-comfort virtues of rubber flooring.

According to University of British Columbia research reported in the May Journal of Dairy Science, cows with access to rubber belting at the feed bunk spent 5.5 percent of their time standing at the bunk compared to 4.8 percent for cows with access to concrete only.

Although the researchers did not measure feed intake, cows that spend more time at the bunk may not necessarily eat more. That doesn’t mean you should stop using rubber belting at the bunk.

In this study, cows on rubber flooring appeared to be slightly more comfortable than cows on concrete, says Jose Fregonesi, one of the study’s authors. “So, for some cows, perhaps those with poor locomotion due to lameness, this kind of flooring may be important,” he says.

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