Assessing fresh urine puddle physics in commercial dairy cow houses

Dennis J.W. Snoek*, Hans Stigter, Sam K. Blaauw, Peter W.G. Groot Koerkamp, Nico W.M. Ogink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ammonia emission from dairy barns can be reduced by measures that improve removal of urine from floors. Information characterizing physical and chemical properties of urine puddles on floors are essential to improve mitigation measures, however information representative for practical barn conditions is scanty. The objective of this paper is to assess the area (A p ) and depth (D p ) of fresh urine puddles in commercial dairy barns, and to investigate the effect of floor type, season and manure scraping on these variables. Sixteen farms were measured in a factorial design of four Floor-Management types (FMTypes). Each farm was measured in two seasons and underwent an intense-floor-cleaning treatment (PREclean) before puddle creation for the D p measurement, which was compared with those created under normal floor conditions with on-farm manure scraping. Overall mean values were 0.83 m2 for A p and 1.0 mm for D p . For both A p and D p the variation within a farm was large but negligible between farms. FMType significantly affected both variables. The V-shaped asphalt floor resulted in larger A p (1.04 m2) and D p (1.5 mm) than those of slatted and grooved floors (mean values 0.76 m2, 0.93 mm). Our study demonstrates that the draining capacity of solid floors is a critical design issue in lowering ammonia emission. The PREclean treatment resulted in D p values that were 3 times lower than values for puddles created under normal floor conditions. We conclude that there is a considerable potential to improve draining of excreted puddles by increasing the cleaning performance of manure scrapers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Volume159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Ammonia emission
  • Cow urine
  • Dairy barn
  • Puddle area
  • Puddle depth

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