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Stephanie Mehlhope


AEN-115

Appropriate All-Weather Surfaces for Livestock

10/16/2017 (minor revision)
Authors: Steve Higgins, Stephanie Mehlhope, Lee Moser, Sarah Wightman

Many livestock producers would say that mud is a natural part of livestock production. But the creation of mud costs producers money and makes them less competitive. Livestock that walk through mud require more feed for energy but actually eat less because walking in mud requires more effort to get to feed and water. Therefore, mud decreases average daily gains. Mud accumulation on the coat increases the amount of energy needed to generate heat in the winter or to keep cool in the summer. Also, it can lower sale prices due to hanging tags. The creation of mud also increases animal stress and leads to a variety of health problems, including protozoan and bacterial infections. It is essential that livestock producers understand that mud hinders cost-efficient livestock production and efforts should be made to limit the creation of mud. This publication explains how mud is created and describes different types of hardened surfaces and pads that agricultural producers should use to reduce mud creation and ultimately increase production efficiency and protect natural resources.

Departments: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
Series: Agricultural Engineering (AEN series)
Tags: equipment and structures, livestock
Size: 2.73 mb
Pages: 8