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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 386-390 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA)  701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11648)
Authors:   J. D. Elder and R. Petty
Keywords:   Flush, Sand Bedding, Flush Systems, Manure Removal, Waste Management

Flush systems are a reliable and efficient method of removing animal wastes from dairy freestall barns. A flush system that is properly designed and correctly installed will keep a freestall barn free of animal wastes providing a sanitary environment for cattle. Sand has become a popular bedding choice for dairy producers. The use of sand as a bedding material in freestall barns effects the design and operation of a flush system. Flush systems designed to operate in freestall barns utilizing sand bedding differ from those in freestall barns utilizing other bedding materials. Sand particles have a greater density than most other commonly used bedding materials, i.e. sawdust, wood shavings or chips, rice hulls, straw and composted manure solids. Consequentially sand flush systems must be designed to provide the needed flow rates to scour sand particles out of cattle areas. The sand bedding becomes the controlling design factor. Flush systems can work effectively in freestall barns bedded with sand as long as the proper flow rates and resulting velocities are provided. If velocities are sufficient to remove the largest sand particles, manure solids will also be removed due to sand having a greater density than manure solids. Once a flush system is designed to remove sand from the freestall barn, the same system will be able to remove animal wastes and provide a clean and healthy environment for cattle.

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