A cow’s comfort is directly proportional to its productivity and profitability. Dairy cows need to lie down for a duration of 12 hours in order to boost milk production. Increased rest time results in increased blood flow to the udder.
Cows ruminate better while sleeping. This results in up to 30% increase in milk production. Lying down also lets the hooves dry off. This reduces the risk of diseases. But a cow will not lie down when the barn or pen is not comfortable.
Making the pen comfortable by introduction of softer lying material such as cow mats and mattresses is one of the major ways of increasing cows resting time. You may increase cows lying time thus increasing milk yield and profitability by installing comfortable cow rubber mats or thick mattresses.
How Do Interlocking Cow Rubber Mats Influence Cow Comfort?
Cow rubber mats are an excellent choice when it comes to improving cow’s comfort. Cow-comfort is non negotiable especially when you are targeting milk profitability. Comfortable dairy cows have a higher chance of having a good net margin.
Dairy Cattle Mats Benefits
Dairy cattle mattresses have numerous benefits to the cows. These benefits included;
Keeping The Ban Fresh And Clean
Stalls floored with cattle mats keep the cows dry and safe from environmental hazards. They are easy to install on concrete, wooden, natural soil and asphalt floors. These mats are easy to clean and will give you the guarantee of a clean barn at all times.
Some cow mats may require you to have some background information about the appropriate cleaning techniques but most interlocking rubber mattresses do not require any specialized techniques.
Reduction Of Bedding Costs
The fact that interlocking rubber mats can be used for a long time means that your bedding costs will be reduced drastically. A comparison with sawdust of wood shavings reveals that you will cut the cost by almost 75%. This is not to mention that it will also save you the cost of waste disposal.
Improved Traction And Slip Resistance In Cow Sheds
Cows keep moving. If the cow is not resting, it will probably be moving around the shed while playing or feeding. Its at such ties that the cows may slip and fall. Every farmer should aspire to reduce such slips in the barn at all times.
Installing rubber cow mats is the sure way of minimizing slips and falls in the cattle shed. This goes a long way in eradicating lameness and unnecessary injuries.
Elevation Of The Cow
The inch or two introduced by the rubber mattress is very important in barn drainage. As the water flows, there is the guarantee that it will not get to where the cow sleeps. This facilitates proper drainage keeping the cow dry and well padded. The cow can thus continue sleeping while you clean the shed.
Dairy cows ought to be kept in dust free environments. The dirt not only affects the cows but also contaminates your milk. It should thus be kept at the lowest level possible. Rubber cow mats and mattresses come in handy in minimizing dust in dairy cattle sheds. Properly cleaned mats have the capacity to eliminate dust completely.
Cows use a lot of energy to keep the bodies warm especially when sleeping on cold surfaces. Installation of rubber cow mattresses helps keep the cow warm at all times. This means that the cow will spend little energy on heat production thus more energy will be channeled to milk production.
Interlocking stall mats are easy to sterilize. The surface allows the farmer to use disinfectants in the shed without worrying about making the shed uncomfortable for the cows. If an infected cow was lying down on a particular mat, the mat can be disengaged from the rest and cleaned independently. This may not be possible with other types of mats such as roll mats.
The Effects Of Increased Cow Lying Time
A normal dairy cow is normally motivated the shed’s comfort to lie down for a period of 10 to 12 hours. Most cows will prefer lying to eating. They feel more comfortable while sleeping.
Sleeping in cows is known to affect their production directly. Increased lying time can boost milk production and also improve cow’s welfare. This is because the cow is likely to ruminate and produce more saliva while sleeping than while standing.
The saliva contains essential enzymes that aid in food digestion. The more the saliva, the better the digestion process.
In addition to saliva production, sleeping increases blood diffusion. A standing cow has a diffusion rate of 3l per minute while a sleeping cow has a diffusion rate of 5l per minute.
Best Interlocking Cow Rubber Mattresses Reviewed
The durable Balancefrom puzzle mat is one of the best non-skid mats. Its usually used in gyms, kitchen floors, horse stables and cow barns. These mats create a comfortable environment for cows.
The puzzle mats are easy to install. The pieces connect quickly with ease. They can therefore be assembled and disassembled quickly with ease. This makes it very effective in cow barn that require to be cleaned from time to time.
Balancefrom mats adopt a water and noise resistant design. Its thus suitable for cows as it lets urine flow seamlessly leaving the mat dry and clean.
The high-density mats that have a ½” thickness offer excellent support to the cow. It offers the much-needed cushion that allows the cow to sleep comfortably for many hours.
- Size: 24” x 24” x ½”
- Color: Black, Blue and Grey
- Warranty: 2 yrs.
- Non-slip traction
- Extra thick (½) inches
- Light weight
- Easy to clean
- High density EVA foam
- Puzzle interlocking system
- 3 Colors to choose from
- Versatile design
- Easy assembly
High Density EVA Foam
EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) foam is a material popularly used to substitute natural rubber, PVC, vinyl, polyurethane, fiberglass, mineral wool and wood composites. It provides excellent gloss and remains sturdy at low temperatures. Its popularity in animal mats and mattresses may be attributed to its ability to resist stress cracking, UV radiation and its hot melt adhesive and waterproof properties.
The main aim of installing interlocking cow rubber mats is ensuring that the cows are comfortable not only while sleeping but also while walking. Everyone fears falling and so do cows. They will thus feel uncomfortable walking or trying to lie down on slippery surfaces.
Non-slip surfaces give the cows some peace of mind reducing their stress levels. They make them feel comfortable while walking around the shed and will tend to sleep more hours. This eventually translates into more milk production.
- Easy assembly
- Water and noise resistant
- Easy to clean and maintain
- High quality foam for best cushion and support
- They are thin and susceptible to break
Nothing feels better than getting the highest quality product at a bargain. Prosoucefit is one of the interlocking rubber mats that will give you value for money. It is designed to absorb impacts and delivers excellent comfort.
The mattress package consists of six (6) twenty-four (24) inch tiles and twelve (12) border pieces. The pieces lock tightly and with ease. This allows you to shape your mattress to the specific needs.
Prosource fit mats are thick enough to absorb the terrible impact of the cow hitting the concrete floor while lying down. The ½ inch thickness gives the cow the much needed joint and knees relief.
- Size: 24” x 24” x ½”
- Color: black
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Excellent non-skid surface
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Water resistance
- Versatile dense EVA foam
- Adjustable coverage
Features To Look Out For
Versatile Dense EVA Foam
Cows need to rest for at least four (4) hours a day. Some however tend to sleep fewer hours or even fail to sleep. One of the factors that influences cows sleeping time is cow comfort. Comfortable cows sleep longer hours.
The versatile EVA Foam give cows the much-needed cushioning. This gradually changes their sleeping habit. Eventually, you will observe that the cow will prefer resting while sleeping.
Water resistance basically means that water or urine cannot get inside the mattress. The high-density foam will thus offer a warm and comfortable.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Easy to clean
- Offers excellent insulation
- Provides good cushioning
- It is sound proof
- Interlocking pattern keeps changing
Interlocking Cow Mattress Buying Guide
Selecting the best interlocking cow mattress can be a little difficult. The market is awash with all types of interlocking barn and stall mats. This makes it important to understand what you ought to look out for while shopping for stall mats. Some of the factors to consider include;
Interlocking cow mats vary in size. They can range from 30 cm square to 2 meters square. Well, there are other larger mats that may measure almost 2ft square. These are designed to be installed in huge stalls and holding areas. Once interlocked, several mats can make one huge mat.
The most important aspect that will determine the size you need to go for is your stalls size. Ensure that you are getting mats that fit in the stalls without folding the mat. The weight of the mat may also determine the size you choose. Large mats tend to be heavier that smaller ones.
Cow mattress weight is mainly determined to by the type and size of material used. Interlocking rubber mats vary in size and thickness. This makes some heavier than others. A single piece may weigh up to 600 pounds. Such pieces may be difficult to install. You therefore need to assess the weight before making your final decision.
Just like any other product in the market, the quality of rubber mats varies from one manufacturer to the other. Though you may only get to assess the quality after usage, the guarantee given by the manufacturer should give you a rough idea of what is quality and what isn’t. A guarantee of 5-10 years is an indicator of a high-quality mat.
In absence of the guarantee, an evaluation of the size and type should also help you determine the quality of interlocking mats. Thicker mats are usually better quality than thin ones. You may also check whether the rubber is re-vulcanized or bound with urethane glue. Re-vulcanized mats are of higher quality.
This is the ability of water or fluids to pass through the mats. The best interlocking cow mats shouldn’t be permeable. They shouldn’t let any water or urine sip through them into the floor. Low quality mats may be partially permeable. This makes them wear out fast and may also have a powerful stench.
Grooved, Flat Or Footed Bottom
Most of the cattle stall mats in the market are flat bottomed. These are the mats that have the probability of trapping urine underneath. Though interlocking mats leave no space between mats, gaps may emerge as the cow moves or turns. This may result in urine sipping though the gaps.
If the underlying surface is semi-permeable such as compacted stones/rocks, the urine may not be much of an issue. Non-permeable surfaces such as concrete may however result in accumulation of urine that releases harmful ammonia gas.
Grooved and footed mats allow the urine to escape by allowing room for it to escape under the mattress. This may however be subject to other factors such as the underlying surface and the slope. In high traffic areas, you may even flip the footed or grooved cow mattresses. Placing the cattle mats with the grooved side up increases traction reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Cattle stall mattresses are different and so is the price. The price will vary depending on the type, thickness, size and even the quality. The price should guide you on the range you can afford. Check out for discounts and offers when making your purchase.
Mattress yielding is very important in cow comfort. Most farmers install concrete floors in the cow sleeping stalls. The concrete is very hard and can cause stress on joints. This may result in injuries and sores.
To counter the floor hardness, it is important that every farmer installs rubber cow mattresses. These mats ought to be soft and thick to deliver the desired yield. Most interlocking rubber mats are designed to provide enough yield and cushion the cow.
Urine produces ammonia gas. This is a poisonous gas that may cause acute anhydrous ammonia intoxication. This results in cow blindness, respiratory diseases, drooling, recumbency or even death.
Excellent dairy cow mattresses should be able to ensure that no urine rests in the shed. When urine sips through the mat, it settles at the bottom. This soils the bedding making it hard to clean and maintain. On the other hand, when the urine flows to the shed floor, only small parts of the mattress get soil thus are easy to clean.
The selection of the cow barn mattress should therefore be informed by the draining capacity. You may opt to go for interlocking rubber mats that drain through or those that don’t depending on your shed floor structure.