Cow comfort is an important consideration for every dairy farmer. In this article we discuss the importance of optimal lying times for cows and how to select the right cow mattress for your dairy farm….
Cow Lying Times
One of the first things you need to analyse is how your cows spend their time each day. Breaking down the amount of time your cows spend doing various events will give you an idea of where you need to invest. For example……on average cows spend:
4/5 hours eating and drinking per day.
8/9 hours ruminating.
13/14 hours lying down.
We can quickly see that cows spend the majority of their time lying down and if you haven’t already invested in providing them with a comfortable lying surface – this is probably where you should focus your efforts, for the best commercial return.
Cows need plenty of time to relax and recuperate throughout the day. Lying down periods are extremely important for a several reasons;
Cows produce 5 times more milk lying down versus standing.
Cow’s hooves have the chance to rest and dry off – reducing the risk of injury.
With some cows lying down at any point in time, there’s more space available for the other cows to move around.
A reduction in lying times can result in lower milk yields and productivity can suffer. If the lying surface is not comfortable the herd is less likely to get sufficient rest. If they remain standing for longer periods of time it can upset their natural cycles. When they do finally lie down, there is a tendency for them to remain lying for too long, meaning they will eat less. It’s a very fine line that needs to be carefully monitored.
So, what can you do to look after your cows in the best possible way?
Adding a good quality cow mattress to your dairy housing unit is a great way to encourage your herd to get the correct amount of rest. But how do you choose the right mattress?
There’s a few things to think about:
How comfortable is the mat.
How thick is the top cover.
Is it easy to install.
How do I clean the mattress?
Consider the lifespan of the mattress; is it made to last? And for how long?
What is the warranty on the product?
If you are unsure and need some advice, get in touch. We’d be happy to share our expertise with you and your team.
Solutions for Dairy
EASYFIX has an excellent range of cow mattress solutions . Each of our cow mattresses are designed to provide a high level of cow comfort, increase lying times and reduce hock damage.
Please contact us if you require further information on our cow comfort range.