Innovative dairy farmers know the importance of cow comfort: Under natural conditions, a cow spends roughly 12 to 14 hours per day lying down. Increased lying activity has a positive impact on the milk production as well as on hoof and rumen health. Lying down promotes circulation in the mammary gland and milk production. It has been estimated that milk production increases by one litre for every additional hour of lying time. The health of the hooves also increases with the time spent lying down. When the cow is lying down, the burden on the hooves is removed and the risk of inflammation or ulcers decreases. Lying down also offers benefits for rumen health since rumination takes place primarily in the lying position.
In other words, they are a number of convincing arguments in favour of ensuring optimal lying comfort for the animals.
Whether comfortable conditions for lying exist can be evaluated with the cow comfort index. This calculates the percentage of cows in a herd that are lying down. If 85 percent or more of the cows are lying down outside of milking times, comfortable lying conditions can be assumed.
This formula provides insight into the lying comfort of your animals:
LCI (%) = Number of correctly lying cows / number of cows in stalls x 100
Bedding plays a key role for cow comfort. Dairy farmers who use organic bedding produced themselves instead of conventional materials achieve significantly better results with their animals.
Ideal bedding features the following properties:
Green bedding refers to organic bedding produced by means of the separator. Only FAN offers the original Green Bedding SeparatorTM.
Green bedding satisfies the highest quality criteria:
The history of green bedding began due to a fortuitous accident. The mistake of a student considerably increased cow comfort.
In the early 90s, a project group at Cornell University under the leadership of Prof. Stan Weeks in North America was engaged in a compost project. Composted material was being tested for use as bedding after prior separation with a FAN press screw separator followed by a composting process. However, one of the students made an “error”, taking the material directly from the separator and spreading it in the stalls for multiple weeks. The result was amazing: extremely high cow comfort, a cell count that remained at least unchanged and improved animal health. This was the starting point for the use of undigested fibrous materials as high-quality organic bedding!
Since then, several thousand FAN Green Bedding Separators have been manufactured to do service on dairy farms around the globe. They modify the moisture levels, volume and consistency of the starting material to produce high-quality and inexpensive organic bedding. The process complies with all pertinent regulations and is therefore also positively supported by the European Union.
The customer base has increased continuously, and in recent years a particularly large number of dairy farmers in Great Britain have switched to FAN green bedding. A study commissioned by Dairy Co. and carried out with the involvement of international scientists and veterinarians came to the conclusion that organic bedding material is highly recommendable. It is important that the material is always fresh and used exclusively on the farm where it is produced.
“I was very satisfied with wood shavings until I hit upon this magnificently soft bedding and discovered that I can produce it myself on my farm. In the winter, we used to spend £ 1,500 - £ 1,800 per month, but now the bedding costs nothing at all.”
Since 2015, a FAN Green Bedding separator PSS 3.3-780 has been responsible for the production of organic bedding material at Tenuta Marinona in Piedmont, Italy. "For us, there is nothing better than self-produced bedding. Green bedding has even been proven to have a positive effect on our farm on the cell numbers."
Manicow is a special hygienised premium bedding for large industrial operations of 400 livestock units or more. True Manicow bedding material can only be produced with the Bedding Recovery Unit from FAN.
Properties of Manicow bedding:
At the German Agrargenossenschaft (agricultural cooperative) Reichenbach in Vogtland, Saxony, BRU 2000 has been producing soft, extremely absorbent bedding material for 1,000 cows since 2017. "It's more comfortable and better than sand," says managing director Lars Bittermann, describing the material produced directly on site. The cows on his farm also take it very well.