It’s well recognised that comfortable, contented cows spend longer each day lying down- and therefore give increased milk yields and improve milk quality.
When choosing a product to top your cubicles for your dairy cattle- there are several key factors to take into consideration.
Different cubicle flooring requires different bedding. Since mats or mattresses are designed to provide a comfortable bed- minimal material is required for absorbing muck and leaked milk- and to maintain a dry cubicle. Products such as a superfine, talc-like cubicle conditioner are ideal for mats, since a little goes a long way.
Concrete or earth beds will require a deeper, more cushioned bedding material – to encourage cubicle occupancy. For a deep bed, a blend of sawdust for absorbency and shavings to provide cushioning make an excellent choice.
If preventing bacterial growth – thus managing somatic cell counts- is top of your agenda, starting with a dry bed is essential. Look for a product that contains zero moisture- and change regularly to maintain a clean environment where the udder touches the cubicle.
Minimise hock damage- and avoid nasty abrasions with a soft product which won’t irritate over many hours. If in doubt, try the knee or elbow test- by testing the product on the cubicle and kneeling- or rubbing a little on your elbow. Feel abrasive? It’s not the one…
Different muck-disposal systems will require a different consistency of bedding for spreading. Needing to keep your waste as solids? Try a coarser product, designed to be used as a deep bedding, like our MixBed.
However, if you’re looking to maintain a slurry consistency for pumping or spreading further – look for a finer product that’ll suspend well – to prevent any blockages in slurry channels or settling in the lagoon, like sand can.
Find a product which is readily available throughout the housing season. Ask your supplier about their reliability, so you don’t find yourself caught short mid-winter.
Dairy farmer from Newport, Gwent, regularly orders Platts’ Finebed Sawdust for his herd of 250 dairy cattle. Bedding twice a day at milking time, he reports that Finebed suits their system well- since cow mats provide the comfort for the cattle, so clean and dry cubicle conditioner helps manage somatic cell counts. Once the sawdust has done it’s job on the cubicles, it suspends well within the slurry lagoon and is tankered or spread via umbilical cord.
“I couldn’t speak more highly of the service I receive from Platts, from the Sales Team, to the HGV drivers who deliver the load. Supply is reliable and I receive delivery when required. We’ve used the product for years and will continue to do so.”