Just like you, your dairy cow needs a quality mattress too - Daily Nation

Just like you, your dairy cow needs a quality mattress too

Friday May 29 2015

Unless ingenious and urgent measures are

Unless ingenious and urgent measures are employed to address the myriad challenges facing the livestock sector, in particularly high cost of feeds, farmers will continue to get low returns. FILE | NATION 

By FELIX OPINYA
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Farmers who have used the cow mattresses have realised an increase in milk volume from their animals. It is provides comfort and dry bedding that enhances hygiene standards in the cowsheds thereby controlling cases of mastitis infection.

Use of the cow mattress will save you money from losses related to mastitis infection.

It is more effective than the twigs, coarse sand, dried manure or saw dust. Such bedding materials do decompose, especially when cows urinate or dung on them, creating conditions that are not comfortable any more for the animals.

During decomposition, which may not be easily noted by the farmer, these materials allow for multiplication of harmful bacteria that later cause infection to the animals.

Proper mattresses are easier to maintain since they are easy to clean and disinfect. If cows lie on them, they feel encouraged to stand during defecation and urination, making them clean at all times. These maintain the high standards of hygiene required in your cowsheds.

They also offer long term comfort, giving cows maximum time for resting and relaxing; time that allows them to undergo natural body processes such as increased blood supply to the teats and the udder. This guarantees a higher milk yield and healthier animals that increase farmers’ profits.

The mattresses also protect the cows from physical injuries caused by rugged resting floors. This is a step ahead in saving you money from treating the animal.

Farmers do spend more on repeated inseminations resulting from poor heat detection; but with the cow mattresses, the cows feel secure hence show clearer strong heat signs.

This allows the farmer do proper timing of insemination and save on repeated insemination costs.

The soft nature of the mattresses allows them to absorb pressure, especially from the front knees and hocks of the cows during lying down and rising.

CHANCES OF LAMENESS

This, again, reduces chances of lameness in cows or getting injury-related stress. The healthy productive cows also remain long in the herd as premature culling is assured.

Increasing milk production is the desire of every dairy farmer as well as prevention of deadly diseases like mastitis, an infection of the mammary glands and udder tissue caused by poor housing, among other factors.

To earn more profits, farmers have put into practice every approach that can help them raise the yields of their cows. Now, farmers have a reason to smile because of the new cow mattresses; a technology borrowed from the developed countries, which comes as a major boost towards increasing milk production.

It works!

Cows, just like humans, give more if treated well. Treating your cows well does not necessarily mean you have to be an animal scientist professional for things to work right, it is simply being passionate in your dairy farming and learning from successful dairy farms to know what your animals require.

Many farmers have wondered how cow mattresses look like. They are mostly black in colour and are made from remains of rubber tyres, high quality enough to sustain your animal for long before replacing.

The recycled tires are treated with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solutions that make them safe for the animals. They have a special texture pattern that ensures cows do not slip or fall, even when wet.

The mattresses are of varying thickness sizes, the most common ones being the 2-inch and the 4-inch thick sizes. Each mature cow should have her own mattress while the calves’ have theirs which are specifically designed for them and can be shared.

There are also mattresses made uniquely for other livestock like goats, sheep and even dogs. 

They can be sourced from Menengai Agrovet in Nakuru and from the DeLaval Dairy Equipment Supplies.

With cow mattresses in your farm, you guarantee inexhaustible benefits to and from the animals; therefore, farmers have all the reasons to use them. When you invest in them, you enjoy your night while your cows also sleep safe and comfortably as you wait for more milk the following morning. All these translate to increased productivityf rom the cows and more profits to the farmer.

The writer works at the Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University