Back in March, we attended the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We typically go every year to check out what's new and improved. We usually end up adding things to our wish list.
As I was walking by a booth, a sign caught my eye: Do you have trouble with cows slipping? Unfortunately, I thought to myself, yes, we do.
As we visited with the company, we learned they offer a service we were unfamiliar with – cement scabbling, which is not the traditional cement grooving but something different.
Our barn alleys are already grooved but still seem slippery. It is sad and frustrating doing all you can nursing a cow once she has slipped and does the splits. We have tried many techniques: hobbles, hip lift and cow floats. And, more times than not, they have not gotten back to their feet And believe me, I have had many conversations with the herd about their gymnastic attempts that are better left to the athletes. After some thought, we decided to give the scabbling a try. Can't fix a problem if you don't try different solutions.
Smith’s of Wisconsin came to our rescue and tackled the two-day project on our floors. They extended out the groove that was already there, making it wider and rougher. The main freestall barn, holding area and secondary freestall barn were all part of the project. It was a bit hectic for a couple days, moving cows around so they could work, but they got it done.
What a difference it made. It added much-needed traction to the floors. I sure hope we can put nursing injured cows behind us, at least from slipping on the floors.
If your cows are anything like ours, they always come up with something to surprise us.