If I could, I’d sprinkle the cow track with rose petals! The cows average a 3.6km walk to and from the dairy every day and can easily become quite tender-footed, so the surfaces they walk on are incredibly important. If you can’t walk on it barefoot, you can’t expect your cows to walk on it either.
When a tractor window got smashed on the track, the only thing for it was to sweep all the glass up. Nearly broke Old Macdonald’s back!
The track is soft gravel for maximum cow comfort while providing a relatively mud-free surface. Last year, when the wet was at its worst and the cows’ feet were extra soft, we had loads of pine mulch spread on the tracks to provide more cushioning. Mulch works really well but unfortunately traps mud and eventually breaks down into a horrible mushy gumboot-gobbling goop.
The dairy yard is concreted for durability. Because smooth concrete can get too slippery for the cows, one of our first farm improvements was to have diamond-shaped grooves cut. The grooves help to drain the concrete and make it more grippy without becoming abrasive.