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2 Oct 2020 - Management advice on udder health

Bedding materials - part 1

Bedding material affects the udder health. What are the different bedding options and what you should pay special attention to?

Deep bedding – Sand
Sand is considered the gold standard in terms of cow comfort, locomotion, milk quality and udder health – both in conventional or robotic operations. Sand helps keep SCC on a low level. If you run robotic operations, keep in mind that sand increases robot maintenance costs.

Straw, sawdust, kiln-dried shavings and other organic materials
This group of materials have similar effects in terms of cow comfort, locomotion and cow flow with slight differences, when compared with sand. This kind of organic bedding also has major advantages in terms of impact on equipment, and manure handling. Pay special attention to cow cleanliness, as high bacteria growth could be a problem. Besides that, keep track on your labor and bedding expenses. It is also crucial to ensure consistent hair removal from the udders, as clinging organic manure will affect robot performance. In the next post we will talk about RMS and mattresses.

Sources: DeLaval and SEGES