Cattle comfort has come to the forefront of the conversation in recent years, resulting in increased research on the benefits of rubber floors in cattle handling operations. The consensus is positive, and researchers praise the use of rubber floors throughout cattle handling operations. However, not all rubber floors are created equal! It is essential to consider the type of rubber being used as flooring, as some varieties offer more benefits than others.

What are the benefits of using rubber floors in your cattle handling operation?

  • Rubber floors are quieter. “Handling cattle quietly has many benefits, including improved weight gain and greater safety for handlers” (Beef Magazine). Rubber floors are quieter than steel floors, making them an ideal choice for quiet cattle handling systems.
  • Rubber floors reduce stress. “Animals panic if they start to slip. Non-slip flooring is essential for low-stress cattle handling because calm animals are easier to handle” (Beef Magazine). To reduce stress in your livestock, choose rubber flooring that “offer[s] good traction … through the grooves and texture of the surface, and the type of finish on the surface” (Progressive Cattle).
  • Rubber floors are hygienic. “Rubber mats are easy to clean and disinfect- they are non-porous and do not retain moisture” (Coruba).
  • Rubber floors improve the health of your cattle. “Rubber-flooring systems [can] reduce lameness and increase overall comfort” (Progressive Cattle), and can reduce injury due to slipping.
  • Rubber floors increase efficiency. “Rubber floors allow animals to walk with more confidence. Animals on rubber floors move more efficiently” (Brian J. Holmes).

Be sure to watch out for:

  • Recycled rubber with steel reinforcing can contribute to hoof injuries by puncture from steel fibers (Brian J. Holmes).
  • Rubber floors with rebar. Truly durable rubber floors do not require rebar for added traction! Adding steel rebar to the rubber floor reduces cattle comfort, and is an unnecessary addition.
  • Repurposed rubber. Repurposed rubber can be very slippery when used as rubber mats for cattle – such as conveyor belting (Progressive Cattle). These types of rubber are not suitable for cattle handling operations, and research indicates that they may be even worse for cattle than concrete floors.
  • Rumber floors. While it may sound similar to rubber, the two are not the same!
    • Rubber vs. Rumber: What’s the difference? Rumber is a compound made from recycled tires and plastic. It is used in a variety of applications, ranging from boards that make up the floors of trailers to the molded forms seen in some cattle crushes. This compound must be molded to give cattle proper traction, as it is similar to wood and does not “give” to assist in forward motion in the same way that properly made rubber mats do.

Arrowquip is constantly striving to make cattle handling easy on cattle, and easy on the operator. Our new rubber floors provide the traction cattle need to feel comfortable when entering our Q-Power 106 Series and Q-Catch 86 Series cattle crushes. By making your cattle more confident when entering the crush, aiding in traction, and reducing animal stress, the rubber floor will benefit your operation and provide the opportunity for a more efficient operation.

See the rubber floors in action in the New Q-Catch 86 Series Video! 


Beef Magazine, article by Dr. Temple Grandin.
Progressive Cattle, article by Danielle Schlegel.
Brian J. Holmes.