3 Tips to Purchase Agri Mats and Equine Mats
One of the best purchases you can make for your barn is agricultural mats and stable mats. Thick rubber mats provide stability for the animals in your barn, as well as offering traction and comfort for them. By purchasing stable mats, you can add a new quality-of-life to the animals in your care.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What’s the benefit of purchasing stable mats?
- What’s the best type of mat to purchase for your barn?
- 3 tips to purchase agricultural mats
Besides all the information that you will glean from this article, be sure to check out our knowledge base, which has tonnes of tips and advice on how to purchase agricultural mats. You can learn anything from how to clean rubber mats to how to properly provide drainage underneath stable mats.
What’s the benefit of purchasing stable mats?
The main reason to purchase stable mats is to take care of your animals, providing for them a better quality of life. No other single purchase in your barn can create an instant boost to your animal’s well-being like stable mats can. Not only will your animals be more comfortable on them, but you can also save money and time by having to put less bedding in each of the stalls. Below, you can find a detailed list of the reasons to purchase stable mats:
Help prevent joint pain and injury
Consider this: hard, tightly packed sand can actually damage the hooves of your horses, impede their regular walking gait, and can injure their joints. But rubber mats have a slight give to them, cushioning under the weight of your horses’ hooves. In fact, horses thrive more on rubber mats than on hard surfaces like concrete or dirt.
In addition, for those farmers who own dairy cows, you can expect increased mobility from your animals. A recent study in the Journal of Dairy Science has found that softer, higher-friction flooring can greatly improve the gait of cows, especially injured cows with sole ulcers. This study found that cow mobility is dramatically increased by foam and rubber stall mats. Having the confidence in their steps, cows had longer strides with more joint articulation on high-friction flooring than compared to low-friction concrete.
Insulate against cold-weather
Heat loss caused by conduction can be a major issue in horses and cows stalls. Conduction occurs when heat is transferred between solid materials, including sand, concrete, and wood. The major issue becomes that cold animals become uncomfortable, and are less able to get proper rest, which can actually lead to illness and injury.
Rubber mats do an excellent job of insulating and preventing heat loss caused by conduction. What this means is that you don’t have to put as much bedding down in order to keep your animals happy.
Require less bedding
Another major benefit of stable mats is that you require a lot less bedding than you would normally put down. Bedding comes in handy to provide a space for animals to rest and to help keep the cold out, but with rubber mats you can actually cut down on the amount of bedding by two-thirds. As a result, you save time on labour and help to cut costs, which can come in handy with the increased price of straw recently.
What’s the best type of mat to purchase for stable mats?
There are many products available for stable mats, but it’s important to find the type of mats which will please your most important asset: your animals. There are benefits to both foam and rubber mats, and it’s important for you to decide which one you will need in your barn. Let’s examine both foam and rubber mats, in order to find the best mats for you to purchase, many of which are available on Stable Mats Ireland:
EVA Foam mats
EVA foam mats are widely used in many industries, including construction, manufacturing, agricultural, and athletic training. EVA foam mats are water resistant and offer a significant amount of cushion underneath the hooves of your animals. High density EVA foam mats are also great to use under animals for rest areas within stables.
It should be noted that not all EVA mats will work as stable mats flooring. Some mats which have a lower density cannot be used as stable mats flooring, as these mats can be torn and ripped under the heavy rigours of regular everyday use within a stable. Instead, the majority of the EVA foam mats offered on Stable Mats Ireland should be used as parlour pit mats.
Here’s the most popular EVA foam mat at Stable Mats Ireland to use for stable mat flooring:
Rubber mats are forged in high heat, making them great to use as stable mats because they are durable. One of the great things about rubber mats is that they are recyclable, and can take the regular wear and tear of being in a stable. They are designed to take heavy stress from heavy weights, and under the weight of horses and cows can actually provide a significant amount of grip and traction.
Below, you can find some of the most popular rubber mats available on Stable Mats Ireland:
- 17MM 0.91M (3FT) X 1.22M (4FT) STUD DOT RUBBER STABLE MATS
- 17MM 1.83M (6FT) X 1.22M (4FT) AMEOBIC RUBBER STABLE MATS
3 tips to help you purchase stable mats
One of the most important things to know when you are going to purchase stable mats is the price range. It’s important to know how much you’re willing to spend before you dive into purchasing rubber mats. Price can be a major deciding factor when considering which types of mats to purchase.
Now, it should be noted that the price shouldn’t be the major limiting factor on what mats to purchase. For example, although parlour pit mats are significantly cheaper than rubber mats, you wouldn’t want to purchase them to outfit your stables, as they would fall apart from the increased stress of heavy animals walking on. It’s better to buy high-quality materials which will stand up to the test of time, then purchasing subpar materials which will degrade and fall apart quickly.
Rubber mats come in two different types of surface textures: amoebic surface texture and stud dot. Amoebic surface textures resemble a mosaic of raised shapes which offer minimal traction to animals. Stud dot surfaces have a bit more traction, as they are raised a bit more. Stud dots feature hundreds of raised dots, which can give horses and cows more grip.
In addition, on the underside of rubber mats you can find drainage furrows, small ‘v’ shaped channels which help to move moisture away from the centre of the mats. Some farmers have found it very helpful to flip the mats over and use the drainage furrows for the main surface texture. What you choose to use for the surface texture of your mats is completely dependent on your needs and the needs of your animals, so be creative when you’re thinking of ways to outfit each and every stable in your barn.
Next, you’re going to want to assess the square metres of area that you’ll need to cover with rubber mats. Before you do that, find the square metres for the rubber mats that you’re considering purchasing, and then find the total surface area of the stall which you are going to outfit with rubber mats. Next, simply divide the total square metres of the stall from the square metres of each individual mat.
Go through every single stable which you will need to outfit with stable mats and do this same mathematical equation. Once you have the total surface area for each stable which you need outfitted with stable mats, you can find out the total number of mats that you need to purchase.
It’s important to keep in mind that you may need to purchase several different types of mats in order to fully outfit your barn. For example, rubber mats with a stud dot surface are great to use for animals which have poor mobility, but may not be the perfect mats to purchase for outdoor walkways or inside of garages or shops. If you want to get all of your rubber flooring needs done in one shot, you may need to purchase both rubber mats with stud dot surfaces and amoebic surfaces. You may even want to purchase some EVA foam mats.
Ultimately, the type of mat that you purchase will entirely depend on your needs. If you’re purchasing stable mats for walkways or areas which can be slick because of moisture, you may choose to purchase rubber mats with the right amount of grip for both your animals and the people who walk on them. In order to find the best mats that fit your needs, it’s important to know your price range, assess the total square metres of area which need to be covered, and discern what you’ll need from each of your mats.
Author: David Van Kooten