Dairy cow profitability is every dairy farmer’s dream. Numerous factors come to play when it comes to profitability. Cow comfort is one of the major factors that will determine whether you will be making a profit or loss.
To beef up cow comfort, it’s important to invest in comfortable cow mattresses. These mattresses come in different shapes, sizes, materials and forms. Let’s help you understand more about cow mattresses and their benefits.
The History Behind Cow Mattresses
Cow mattresses date back in the 1980s. This was a time when dairy farms were slowly upgrading from compost and organic beddings that are not only hard to maintain but also have a number of shortcomings. Researchers were keen to introduce comfortable resting and walking surfaces for dairy cows thus the introduction of cow mats and mattresses.
Cow mats and mattresses were first introduced in the form of rubber-cell structured pieces. These were designs that allowed dairy farmers to use sand bedding without the incidence of digging or depressions.
The use of sand helped maintain the mats in great shape. The mats were uniform, had no leakage and were relatively clean. They were also very comfortable for the cows.
The traditional cow mattresses are quite easy to install. They can be fixed with ease using dowels on the floor. They are very effective in the control of static charge accumulation. They are also resistant to acid. This makes them very durable.
Types Of Cow Mattresses
Buying cow mattresses is quite exciting and interesting. The market is awash with all types and sort of cow mats and mattresses. Science has gone a notch higher and cow mats are now quite similar to human mattresses.
The technology used to keep human beings warm and comfortable is not used on cows. Some of the popular types of cow mattresses include;
Natural Fiber Mattresses
Natural fiber mattresses have a long history. They have been in existence for decades and new models keep streaming into the market. Much as technology keeps changing, these mattresses keep getting better. They are hard to phase out and there is a genuine reason behind their continued dominance.
Natural fibers are eco-friendly. In this era when efforts to restore the degraded environment are at their peak, you can be sure that these mattresses will in major quarters. If you are interested in conserving the environment, this may be the best cow bedding option for you.
Most of these fiber cow mats and mattresses are made from natural fiber. These fibers are processed without the use of chemicals. This guarantees you of reduced carbon footprint and a healthy living environment for your dairy cows.
Fiber mattresses are very comfortable. The main aim behind the purchase of cow mattresses is improving cow comfort. The natural fiber is mainly cotton. Organic cotton is very comfortable. It is an elastic material that controls temperatures efficiently.
Interlocking Rubber Cow Mattresses
Cow mats and mattresses not only need to be comfortable but also durable. You will bear me witness that rubber co mats are comfy and durable. These are specially designed mattresses aimed at reducing stress levels on cattle. This allows the cattle to stand or sleep comfortably.
A cow’s comfort is directly proportional to her production and profitability. Rubber mats for cattle are designed to adopt the honeycomb structure. The hammer top provides traction while reducing injuries.
Rubber has the capacity to withstand great stress and friction. This capability makes rubber mattresses very durable. They can withstand the tear and wear associated with dairy farms.
Interlocking rubber mats are easy to install, clean and maintain. They also go a long way in decreasing falls and slippage. This reduces lameness and injury related complications.
Unlike sand, compost or other types of mattresses, rubber doesn’t absorb liquid. This controls the growth and development of bacteria. You can therefore flush or scrub them comfortably knowing that they will be dry in no time.
Interlocking rubber mats range from heavy duty to ordinary rubber cow mats. They are non-porous. This makes them suitable for bio-security areas such as truck loading pens and calf sale pens.
Well, it is evident that no single cow mattress will meet all your cow comfort needs. However, it’s important to go for the mattress that will meet most of your needs. This is a type that will sink in to conform to the cow’s shape and bounce back to its original shape and form once the pressure is released.
Somnigel comfy cow mattresses seem to defy physics. These mattresses do not push back as the cow sleeps on them. This is because somnigel contains just 22% of contact surface and 78% open air. This makes the cow feel like she is sleeping on air.
The mattresses are excellent at heat distribution. This enables them maintain average temperatures even in hot environment. The hollow columns facilitate increased air flow. This keeps the mats fresh while controlling temperatures.
Memory Foam Cow Mats
Just like in homes, foam mattresses are quite popular in dairy farms. Their popularity is pegged on their ability to envelope the cattle and make them eel snug and comfortable. The mattresses contour with ease to accommodate the cow’s rugged bodies. Once the pressure is released, they slowly restore to their original shape.
Foam mattresses draw their inspiration from space. In the early 1960s, scientists were keen on exploring more about viscoelastic. This is a soft yet energy absorbent material that was incorporated in airplane seats to offer protection to pilots. The same measure of safety now comes to your dairy cattle.
Foam mattresses for cows have the capacity to distribute cow body weight effectively in respect to pressure and heat. This makes them suitable for the much needed support and cushioning in high impact collisions. This minimizes injuries as the cow sleeps and the body makes contact with the ground.
In addition to the incredible comfort, foam mattresses boast of outstanding pressure point relief. This encourages appropriate spine alignment.
Latex mattresses have become very popular over the past few years. In addition to being eco-friendly, these mattresses are long lasting, functional and affordable. This makes them a worth investment especially in a farm handling a huge number of dairy cows.
Latex cow mats can either be Dunlop or Talalay. The difference is in the manufacturing process. With the Dunlop mattresses, latex sap is extracted from trees, formed and baked in the desired mattress size. On the other hand, Talalay mattresses involve two extra steps. The air inside the latex is removed using a vacuum. The latex is then frozen instantly before it can be baked. The two extra steps give Talalay cow mattresses the unique air columns.
Ever thought of having inflatable cow mattresses? Well, that’s now a possibility. Air mattresses are now readily available and come in different shapes and sizes. They may be referred to as airbeds or blow up mattresses.
Air mats and mattresses are comprised of separate cells that allow air to flow in varying intervals. This makes the cells inflate and deflate at different intervals. This exchange brings a pressure relieving effect that soothes the cow and increases her comfort levels.
The ability to continually pump in air makes it easy to control the mattress firmness. You may however have to bear with the noise from the pump. Place the pump a distance from the cow barn to avoid distracting the cows.
Air mattresses are quite comfortable. The cows feel like they are sleeping on air. The fact that the mattress can adjust to adopt the shape of the body brings in the much needed comfort.
Air mattresses may be the solution for lame cows. The ability to adjust mattress firmness has a therapeutic effect that helps in pain relief.
Comfortable cows are evidently healthier and more productive. Cow sleeping pads and mattresses are quite vital in boosting cow comfort. You will definitely see some changes in the overall cow health and production.
However, you need to ensure that you investing in the right cow mattress. These mats and mattresses aren’t cheap. There are cheap options that may serve temporary needs but if you want a pad that will last several years, you need to dig deeper into your pockets.
You wouldn’t want to make a mistake when spending top dollar on cow mattresses. We hope that the above outline delivers crucial cow mattress information needed to make the right purchase. You can also read more about the various bedding options for dairy cows. This will widen your knowledge base about other cow bedding options.