He recommends the feed pad “one hundred per cent”. “It’s cheaper than having a run-off, there’s no waste of feed and everything is central.”
Cows remain on the feed pad after morning milking, heading out to pasture in the evening.
David says keeping cows on feed pads for longer is becoming more common in dairying. “You protect pasture, and production is already increasing.”
An added bonus is rainwater from the roof of the feed pad goes back into the farm system. “We get about 1.4 million litres a year of good water,” says David.
The pad was built by Dargaville-based Vuletich Construction. Director John Vuletich says the work was undertaken just before Christmas in 2019.
Around 550 square metres of concrete was used in the project, taking advantage of the existing smaller pad, and included 80 cubic metres of concrete in the floor.
Rubber studs underneath the material provide a cushioning effect. It is laid in interlocking squares – “like a big jigsaw puzzle” – which Anthony says allows the material to expand and contract during changes in outside temperature.
He says the matting is secured to the concrete base by a stainless steel anchoring system.
Numat also previously supplied and laid matting in the Crawford dairy shed.
Anthony says the Legend product that was used, was made in Canada. “It was laid in the yard and bails, once again aimed at cow comfort and preventing slipping on the concrete surface.