AGRI-TRAC Inc. is the only company that has undertaken this research to investigate lime use and it’s connection to concrete barn floors becoming slippery over a very short period of time.
This serious issue of lime residue buildup affects ALL methods and forms of traction on concrete floors!
Unlike the others, we at AGRI-TRAC believe that investigation, education and prevention is the honest thing to do, rather than the exploitation of a bad situation and continuing to take your hard earned money time and again for something that is preventable.
Using hydrated lime as a disinfectant is adversely affecting livestock traction on barn floors.
The spreading of hydrated lime where the cows lay has been a common practice in the fighting of mastitis since the 1940’s. This form of disinfecting and drying of the area that teats and udders come in contact with works very well in a 1960’s style of tie stall barn. The lime that is kicked out goes directly into the gutter, to the manure pile and out into the soil.
Unfortunately, it is becoming more noticeable that in the modern free-stall facilities, this non-soluble and inorganic mineral based material is remaining in the grooves and texture placed in concrete floors to provide firm traction for the livestock. This buildup makes floors appear to be wearing down smooth, but it is in fact filling the textures up to become a smooth, flat and slippery floor. This has two results, injury due to falls and lack of heat detection due to poor confidence in footing.
In an effort to find out what this coating is, AGRI-TRAC Inc. endeavoured to extract this residue from a floor and have it analyzed by a laboratory. The material clogging the grooves was very dense and hard and turned into a slurry on the damp floor when scraped. When lightly dried with a propane torch, the grey material seemed to swell up but still remained adhered to the concrete. It took very extensive scraping between the original textured ribs on the floor with hardened tools to remove a sample large enough to get analyzed by Petro Laboratories in Mississauga, Ontario.
Read more about lime buildup in the Progressive Dairyman article by AGRI-TRAC CEO Tom Woodall below: