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Floor cleanliness in dairy freestall barns

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

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-103)
Authors:   Geir Næss, Knut Egil Bøe, Lars Erik Ruud
Keywords:   Alley flooring, Bacterial count, Cleanliness, Dairy cows

Abstract. The objective of the present study was to evaluate how type of alley flooring system influenced alley surface cleanliness and also associations to animal cleanliness and bacterial count in delivered milk in dairy freestall barns with slatted or solid floors. In total, 196 barns from different parts of Norway were included in this study, divided into 78 herds with solid flooring and 118 herds with slatted flooring in the alleys. Manure accumulation (depth of manure in mm) in the alleys was measured at 16 different locations in each alley using a traditional ruler. Cow cleanliness was scored using a four-graded scale following a validated method, where score of 1 was clean and 4 was most dirty. Finally, bacterial counts from bulk milk tanks on each farm were extracted from the dairy TINE SA quality database. The results show that slatted floors had on average less manure accumulated compared to solid floors. Regardless of floor type, the cleanest part of the alley was in front of the feed bunk, while the amount of manure increased through the middle of the alley and to the other side. The herds with slatted floors had significantly cleaner legs compared to herds with solid floors. There were also significant differences in bacterial counts in milk samples from the two flooring systems, where herds in barns with slatted flooring had the lowest bacterial count.

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