Mattresses or Sand: Which supports your business (and your cows) better?

Cow comfort is one of the leading design features of modern dairy barn construction and farm management. Ensuring that cows are optimizing their feed intake, maximizing laying time, reducing injury and infections, and ultimately producing large amounts of quality milk to sustain the farm is on every farmer’s mind. One of the major areas of focus for making cows comfortable is in the stall, particularly what she is laying on. It seems like everyone has an opinion on this – sand is the best, mattresses are easier to maintain, don’t forget about waterbeds, and how the heck do you dry out manure solids? I’d like throw my hat in the ring, given my 25 years of thinking and innovating on this particular area of the barn.

Sand Bedding and Mycoplasma Mastitis

If you’re using sand bedding, you may want to take some additional precautions against mastitis. In a study of mastitis outbreaks on multiple dairy farms, Utah State University researchers found a significant association between recycled bedding and Mycoplasma pathogens. • The outbreak was due to Mycoplasma pathogens found in stored recycled bedding sand. • Mycoplasma