Concrete floors pose a considerable risk of damage for hooves. Slippery and very rough or uneven floors are particularly stressful.
The use of rubber coating in strategic locations will be able to significantly improve the comfort of the cows on their daily walk around the barn.
Ensuring the proper floors in the areas around milking parlors (collection area, milking parlor, return corridor) will help avoid damage.
A rubber coating on eating areas and other corridors can also improve the conditions of the cows.
This must be combined with a high degree of comfort in bed stalls (preferably with sand) as otherwise there is a risk that the cows will prefer to stand on the rubber floor instead of resting in the beds, or many animals will choose to lie on the rubber floor which will cause hygiene and logistics problems.
Driveways with mud and sharp stones can be a major cause of both horn-related and infectious hoof disorders.
Hygiene in corridors is essential to protect against infection
The incidence of infectious hoof diseases is highly dependent on the hygiene of the barn. The cleaner the walkways, the less risk of infection.
With fixed scraper systems, you get the best hygiene by letting them run as often as possible.
Scrapers on solid floors have the problem that they drag a manure pool in front of them, the size of which depends on both the scraping frequency and how far the manure must be scraped. In these situations, the scrapes should preferably be used at times when there are not many animals in the corridors (at the earliest 1 hour after feeding or completed milking and in the middle of the night between 2 and 4 a.m.).
It is also important to keep crossings, collection areas, driveways and return passages clean in order to have the full hygiene effect on hoof health.
Source: SEGES, Denmark