A cow mattress passed a durability test with 500,000 steps of an artificial bovine hoof at 1,000 kg per step.
It is the greatest number of steps for cow mattresses ever tested by the 'Test Centre Technology and Farm Inputs of the DLG (German Agricultural Society)' who performed the test.
In a corresponding DLG-FokusTest, the cow mattress (DeLaval cow mattress M40SB) reached very good lying comfort values without remaining deformation before and after the permanent tread load.
High requirements on durability
In stanchion barns, lying surface materials are subjected to notably high stepping stress on a comparatively small area. These conditions put high requirements on the durability of the material. Additionally, the necessary deformability and elasticity of the material and as a result the lying comfort for the cows have to be preserved for a long time.
"This is no easy task for the manufacturer, as high durability and good deformability and elasticity contradict each other generally speaking," said Dr Harald Reubold of the DLG Test Centre who is responsible for flooring material testing. For this special DLG-FokusTest, the usual testing programme for cow mattresses was increased fivefold.
The detailed results of the test can be looked up in the DLG test report.
Emmy Koeleman studied Animal Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She is the editor of Dairy Global and All About Feed.