Bedding is the crucial interface between cow and stall surface and can influence lying times, lameness, joint health and mastitis. Some common problems associated with bedding are as follows;
- Coarse bedding material over a hard surface – Hock lesions and abrasions and potential for white line separation
- Moist bedding material – increased environmental mastitis
- Insufficient bedding over a hard surface – reduced lying times and as a consequence increased incidence of lameness and reduced milk yield.
The four most important points to remember with bedding is non-abrasive, dry, clean and deep. Providing this type of environment in the stall will have a positive effect not only on cow health but also on performance.
There is increasing interest in the use of sand and recycled manure solids (RMS) in stalls. As with any other stall surface the basics still apply. Stalls need to be kept clean, regularly raked and kept topped up with RMS or sand to the desirable level. Where there are issues with stall hygiene Wynnstay offer a comprehensive range of sanitisers for reducing the bacterial load in the bedding. However the starting point should be a quality bedding material, good stall design and effective stall management.