Cow comfort with use of EnviroBed increases milk yield
Focusing on herd comfort and welfare is paying dividends for one north Wales dairy farm – with an increase in yields and a significant reduction in mastitis cases.
“By improving the comfort of the cows in the cubicles we’re producing more milk and seeing less mastitis.
“We switched to EnviroBed on top of ribbed rubber mats and almost immediately cows were giving an extra litre of milk every day.
“And mastitis cases have reduced from about seven a month down to just two,” says Emrys Tudor of Plas Chambers Farm, near Ruthin.
“With ribbed mats I reckon we’re saving 50 per cent on bedding costs because we’re keeping the bedding in the cubicles. Our cows have never looked more contented.
“Cows spend up to 14 hours a day lying down so the cubicle has a big part to play in cow welfare. And if cows feel good they perform better and give more milk.”
EnviroBed creates a soft and absorbent lying surface that also reduces environmental mastitis. The bedding in each cubicle is raked twice a day and fresh EnviroBed is applied twice a week.
The farm is currently using around 18 tonnes a month. “If we bought a load of straw it would be costing around £2,000 and one load of straw wouldn’t be enough to bed these cows for a month. The EnviroBed is costing around £380 a week – but that’s not much more than £2 per cow per week – a small price when you look at what we’re gaining.”
When cows came in for the winter there was the usual expectation that milk yield would take the usual dip. “But when they came into the comfortable cubicles this winter it didn’t happen – in fact yield went up.
“It’s just made me realise what we’ve been losing over all these years because cows haven’t been comfortable. Even now when cows come out of the cubicles for milking they are still cudding – that shows how settled and contented they are. I think when you really look at what we’re spending to achieve a better cubicle environment it’s not a lot compared with other costs.”
The herd now includes about 80 Jersey x Friesians – a cross that well suits the New Zealand grass management system.
To find out more about EnviroBed click here or call the EnvrioSystems team on 01772 860085