Poorly designed entries will have a huge impact on cow flow and milking efficiency, and may affect cow welfare.
Dairy entry design considerations
- Safe, reliable footing is essential so cows can move confidently. Scabbling or grooving the surface 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.