Keep Beds Dry with Less Top Bedding, Improve Air Quality

Cow cooling is important for cow comfort, and so is cow bedding. However, when cooling with powerful fans and using mattresses that require top bedding to maintain optimal levels of comfort, more problems are created than solved: [fansm]

  • Limited visibility in the barn
  • Respiration trouble for the cows
  • More maintenance issues with the fans

The solution: stop using top bedding during the warm, dry summer months.

DCC Waterbeds require little to no additional bedding to maintain high levels of cow comfort, protect the hocks, and stay dry and clean – especially in a barn with a nice breeze pushing air at 5-10 mph.

Try cutting top bedding back with traditional cow mats and you may find comfort issues and hock problems.

Dan Diederich and Terry Stammen both have DCC Waterbeds and powerful fans in the barn for the perfect cooling and comfort combination. 

Beds stay dry with no bedding

“We bed one time every three weeks, and only from November to March. In the summer we don’t bed at all. We have fans in the new barn and we didn’t know how we would keep bedding on them in the summer [with the fans on], so we just don’t. They stay dry except on really humid days.

- Terry Stammen, Ohio | 308 DCC Waterbeds

Just a handful of bedding

“We use a light dusting of chopped straw on top of the waterbeds each day. Literally when we bed we use 15-gallon barrels with the tops cut off full of chopped straw and toss a handful on top of each waterbed,” said Daniel Diederich of Diederich Farm.

 - Diederich Farm LLC, Wisconsin  | 280 DCC Waterbeds, cross-ventilated barn

Diederich's top bedding equates to approximately 1/3 lb. of straw per stall per day, or 15 tons of straw per year for the 280 stalls. The cross-ventilated 8-row barn has 30, 55-inch, 3-blade high-efficiency fans, creating a consistent 8-mph breeze on hot days.

The low bedding works well the 8-mph breeze in the barn preventing the bedding from blowing around.

“[Bedding] takes hardly any time at all,” said Diedeich. “In terms of comfort, we’ve been audited for animal welfare and we scored as good or better than any sand herd. We have zero hock lesions.”