Drainage Capacity of Concrete Slatted Floors for Dairy Cattle

M. Magnusson, M. Ventorp, C. Nilsson


The design of concrete slatted floors in animal houses is a compromise between having good
drainage capacity and good support for the feet of the animal. Clean and dry alleys in cubicle
housing for dairy cows are of great importance for the cleanliness and welfare of the cows
and also the milk quality. The drainage capacities of concrete slatted floors were tested in a
laboratory arrangement using two different consistencies of manure obtained from either
high-yielding dairy cows or from dry cows. Twenty-two floor arrangements with different
combinations of single slats ranging from 50 to 150 mm, together with slot widths ranging
from 20 to 50 mm, and with a void ratio (the ratio between the slot area and the total floor
area) between 16.7 and 33.3 % were tested. The results were analysed by multiple regression.
When manure from high-yielding cows was used, the drainage capacity was dependent on the
void ratio, with the greater void ratio the better the drainage capacity was obtained. When
using manure from dry cows, the drainage capacity was dependent on both the void ratio and
the slot width, shifting to narrower slots required an increase in the void ratio to maintain
good drainage capacity.

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