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Cows, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Making the Cow Beds


Here is a look into what goes into providing the cows on our farm clean soft comfortable beds to lie in. The pictures are from start to finish and show how we take solid manure sterilize and dry it, with a process similar to composting, the finished product is essentially soil we then use for bedding. On our farm we use 95% of the solid manure from the cows as bedding as an effort to recycle all we can and leave a minimal environmental footprint.

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With use the cows tend to mess up their beds, we keep trying to get them to make their beds but to no avail.

Cow Beds

The first thing we do is put down Hydrated Lime to dry out any wet spots, yes cows do occasionally wet the bed.

Cow beds.

Next we mix the Lime in with what we call the Freestall Groomer, we use this piece of equipment 3 times a week to re groom the beds.

Cow Beds

Here is what the beds look like after being groomed.

Changing Cow sheets.

The next piece of equipment adds more bedding to the stalls.

Cow Beds

This is the finished product a clean soft bed for the cows to lie in.

Compost

We use a process similar to composting to dry and sterilize the bedding prior to it's use.

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About raylindairy

Ray is a partner with his parents in Ray-Lin Dairy in Denair, Ca. The operation milks 475 cows and double crops corn & winter forage on 130 of the 240 acres with about 90 acres of pasture. The family also has 1200 ac operation in Klamath Falls OR that raises alfalfa hay, wheat hay, and oat hay. Ray is currently secretary of the Agchat Foundation an entity he helped found whose mission is to empower farmer to use social media. He is currently a on the board of directors of CA Dairy Campaign, Dairy CARES, and is the 2nd Vice-President of Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the National Dairy Board. In addition to his involvement in agricultural organizations’ he is the Chairperson of the Governance Committee at a newly formed charter school his daughter attends, and serves as a director for the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District. Ray and his wife Erica live on the dairy with their two children.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Making the Cow Beds

  1. You know you are spoiling them don’t you. Once you start, they’ll always expect you to do their beds for them. :o)

    Posted by judi @ BigGreenCombine | May 17, 2011, 7:37 AM
  2. Thanks for the post! 😀 I always like reading about farmers who take care of their animals properly.

    Posted by Indestructible | May 24, 2011, 6:25 PM
  3. Our non-dairy cows are very jealous!!!

    Posted by Weekend Cowgirl | May 28, 2011, 7:49 AM
  4. Those beds look comfortable. Would the lime ever effect the
    microbe count? This stuff looks good! I too do a similar
    process but mix in an anti microbial, I may try this. COOL.

    Posted by Crtmrsm | May 28, 2011, 6:31 PM
    • We use the Lime to mainly dry the bedding. It does adjust the ph and in turn kill some bacteria however only for a short time. We find by keeping things drier the bacteria does not have as good of an environment to live in.

      Posted by raylindairy | May 30, 2011, 7:33 AM
  5. Liked reading about this thanks for posting! We are just starting this at one of the dairies excited to get started. Dairy cows work hard for us, they deserve the best!!

    Posted by kathy | June 8, 2011, 9:08 PM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: What do you do with all that poop? « Ray-Lin Dairy - June 8, 2011

  2. Pingback: Is my milk safe? « Ray-Lin Dairy - January 27, 2012

  3. Pingback: Where do cows sleep? « Ray-Lin Dairy - July 3, 2012

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