When they built a new calf facility this past year to accommodate more calves and a computerized feeding system, 3-D Dairy in Malone, Wis., also installed in-floor heat where calves feed to prevent icy floors.
That’s because the system is self-cleaning, which means the nipples and surrounding areas are flushed frequently to keep the system sanitary. A drainage system quickly carries water away, but, of course, the cement floors do not dry immediately. This is not a big deal in the summer, but it can be a serious injury hazard in cold weather. To deal with the situation, the dairy installed in-floor heat throughout its four feeding stations so that flushwater does not freeze, and calves can move freely without slipping, regardless of the weather.