Penn State Extension recently hosted a Technology Tuesday webinar on dairy cow bedding. In the presentation, Dr. David Wolfgang, Penn State Extension Veterinarian, and Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension Engineer, touched on topics related to bedding material selection and management, stall design, and the impacts on health and milk production.
Are you providing adequate bedding in your stalls? Comfortably bedded cows often display the following characteristics:
• High stall acceptance rates
• Low incidence of environmental infections
• Minimal hock abrasions and swelling
• Minimal lameness
• Resting at least 12 hours per day
Since cows spend half their day resting, it is important to provide a clean, comfortable stall area. A well-bedded stall can not only reduce injuries and lameness, but also help reduce udder health issues which can compromise milk quality, such as mastitis.
Whether you use organic or inorganic bedding materials, improving the comfort of your stalls doesn’t have to be costly. Simply increasing the amount of bedding used and the frequency of which the stalls are groomed can have significant impact on herd health and comfort.