Yesterday we had an interesting machine to watch for awhile at the farm. The kids thought it was some pretty cool stuff to watch and so did the cows. We have an older facility with the parlor built a little distance from the barn. The remaining space was simply turned in to a barnyard for the cows to meander around in. Sounds great right? Well cows can have a hard time staying up on smooth concrete if they start to run playing, show signs of heat with mounting each other or get spooked and take off running. When cows fall boom, they don’t get up easily.
Our cows have sand in their stalls. While this is comfy and more hygienic for them, it also leaves a light coating of sand all over their hooves. This sand gives them traction they did not have before (cow hooves are fairly smooth). This has done wonders for slips and spills.
There has been a spot in the barnyard that has given us problems over time. It runs slightly down hill and goes in to our holding pen (where the cows stand and wait to be milked). The concrete in the barn and holding pen is grooved. These grooves also help prevent slips and spills. For what ever reason, this part of the barnyard by the parlor was never grooved. Yesterday things changed.
Of course while this was all being done we had to watch…
They only watched for a few minutes. I have a feeling another audience watched the grooves being put in all day.
In the picture you can also see where the grooves are coming out of the barn. Not only is it important for humans to be safe around the farm, as farmers it is our responsibility to watch out for our animals safety as well.