Improving the dairy can help you with:
- Increases work efficiency
- Reduced stress to both stock handlers and cattle by ensuring cow flow is maximised.
- Reduced injuries if there are no hindrances or obstructions to the smooth flow of stock.
See below for real life examples when designing an entry
- Safe, reliable footing is essential so cows can move confidently. Scabbling the surface or grooving the concrete if slippery is an option.
- The slope of the entrance to the dairy should not exceed 4% (1 in 25).
- The milking area should be open to sunlight if possible. Cows moving from a sunny outside holding yard may hesitate at the entrance if it is much darker inside.
- Sharp, dark shadows across the concrete can be interpreted by cows as a barrier, causing them to pause before crossing.
- When it is dark make sure cows do not have to look into bright lights as they approach the dairy entrance.
- Cow entrances and exits should be clear and wide. Clear platform areas are best for good cow movement.
General considerations when designing an entry
Avoid places where cows can hurt themselves
Have a lead in rail
Rotating back rail
Fit a rotating back rail to hold last cow in place.
Scabbling smooth concrete
Scabbling smooth concrete is preferred but grooving concrete can also help provide traction and stability – make grooves consistent with the drainage direction.
A diamond pattern with groove size 12 mm wide and 12 mm deep on 75 mm centres will provide more traction than simple parallel grooves.
Matting can also be used but will need regular replacement.
Protection from the elements
Protection from the wind and elements at the dairy entrance can aid cow flow.
Add a funnel lead in
Add a funnel lead in to line up cows so they are ready to enter the bail area.