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Organic bedding material

An increasing number of dairy operations are turning to producing the bedding for their animals themselves.

Compared with typical materials such as straw, sawdust or sand, bedding produced right on the farm offers many advantages: In addition to eliminating the costs for purchasing and disposal, the use of organic bedding does not introduce foreign microbes into the stalls, which has a positive effect on the health of the animals. Less storage space is required because the bedding material is produced fresh daily and the total quantity of liquid manure is reduced. But the most important advantage: The comfort of the cows is increased, which also raises their productivity. A material cycle is created on the farm that conserves resources, lowers costs and promotes optimal milk production!


The challenge of cow comfort

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.


The cow comfort index

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


It is all about the right bedding

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:

  • Offers the cows a soft and comfortable lying space, does not produce dust or irritation
  • Improves the hygiene in the stall: as dry as possible and able to absorb moisture
  • Keeps the cows clean
  • Promotes cow health, lowers the risk of hoof diseases
  • Lower germ content: minimises the spread of bacteria and pathogens
  • Always available on the farm
  • Requires minimal storage space
  • Easy to handle
  • Cost-efficient production and disposal
  • Sustainable thanks to the efficient use of available resources

The solutions from FAN

With the systems from FAN, you can produce two different types of organic bedding that satisfy all the requirements for your animals to rest comfortably and safely:

Hygienised BRU Bedding Manicow ©

With the original Green Bedding SeparatorTM from FAN

Green Bedding Separator PSS 3.3 780

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:

  • Dry matter content of up to 36% in the solid phase for cattle manure
  • Soft, loose bedding for the cows, promotes well-being and thereby milk production
  • Helps keep the animals clean
  • Harmless with respect to germ content, supports animal health
  • Available fresh daily and in consistent quality
  • Higher moisture absorption than straw, for example, and produces less dust
  • Simple disposal, simple handling
  • Requires minimal storage space
Green Bedding_DSC09366_grau_blau

The history of green bedding

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!


Green Bedding Boom in UK

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.

Hygienised BRU Bedding Manicow ©

With the Bedding Recovery Unit from FAN

BRU Bedding Recovery Unit

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:

  • Dry matter content of up to 42% in the solid phase for cattle manure
  • Hygienised, germ-free material
  • Fresh supply daily (up to 48 m³)
  • Consistent quality
  • Soft and loose
  • Highly absorbent
  • Low dust production
  • Clean cows
  • Simple disposal
  • Saving of storage space
  • Easy handling
  • Sustainable
You would like to produce your own bedding material?

Get in touch with us!


    * Footnote

    Hans-Peter Hojas

    Product Manager - Slurry Technology