An ingenious Danish product designed to cover the gaps in slatted flooring is now being exported to the UK.
The extruded plastic product was designed by Danish tool maker and injection moulder Brian Johannsen, who came up with the idea after reading an article in a Danish farm magazine that featured slat gap covers. He reckoned he could produce a cheaper and more easily installable version, so he made a number of prototypes that were evaluated at Denmark’s VSP Danish Pig Research Centre (VSP).
VSP staff were surprised by: the simplicity of Mr Johannsen’s design; the ease of fitting; and the ingenious locking mechanism, which replicates a barbed arrow head and, like an arrowhead, is impossible to remove once embedded. Importantly, it’s also pig proof.
Installation is very simple; the cover is placed between the slats and eased into place by hitting it with a rubber mallet or by simply treading down on it. Initially produced to be used in slats with 18-22mm gaps, a version is now also made to fit 14-18mm gaps. Both are sold in 4m lengths for ease of transportation and cost £3.50/m. Pre-cut covers cost £4.00/m. Both rates exclude transport charges.
As well as being used to reduce slatted areas, the covers – which are available smooth or with a ribbed profile – can be used in high-traffic areas such as in front of feeders to protect the edges of the slats; they also stop feed dropping into the slurry pits.
The covers can also be fitted under nipple drinkers as drinking water containing weak acid can, over time, erode the slats, especially at the edges.
UK agent Julian Smith has already supplied the covers to a producer in the South-west of England who had to reduce the slatted area in his weaner house to comply with assurance regulations. Replacing slats can be a very expensive and time-consuming job and this simple gap cover is an ingenious and relatively cheap way of getting round this problem.
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