DCC Waterbeds = precision dairy
Precision dairy management is focused on technologies that deliver individual cow and total-herd management results to help increase dairy productivity. Precision dairying technologies reduce cost (labor, materials, fuel, processes) and increase profit.
DCC Waterbeds are the ONLY bedding solution that fits within the precision dairy definition. DCC Waterbeds provide the same consistent, comfortable, dry surface every day. They do not change in their ability to provide comfort – even if your circumstances do.
WHY CHOOSE ROBOTS - 4 reasons*
- To reduce labor on the farm
- A need to upgrade facilities
- Higher production without a third milking
- A way to transition the farm to the next generation
The best bedding for robotic milking
You may be considering a transition to robotic milking for many reasons – to reduce labor, because it’s time to upgrade, because the next generation is ready to come back to the dairy and is interested in robots – DCC Waterbeds are compatible with all of these reasons. DCC Waterbeds help reduce labor and bedding costs, are a great fit with robotic milking, and have a 15-to 20-year life expectancy.
Experts agree: Dr. Wendy Fulwider, an animal care specialist, gives her thoughts on how DCC Waterbeds compare to other bedding types in their ability to provide a clean, dry, comfortable bedding solution.
"Waterbeds can also provide maximum cow comfort and performance.
Unlike sand, rubber mats and compost, waterbeds provide consistent support for the animal without the producer needing to top-fill additional bedding or use expensive equipment. The bed also moves with the cow’s skin, protecting her from abrasions."
No swollen hocks
“Thanks to DCC Waterbeds, I’ve almost forgotten what swollen hocks even look like. My cows just don’t have them anymore.”
- Dale Hemminger, Seneca Castle,
1,500 DCC Waterbeds
17 robotic milking units
Reduces labor & maintenance
“When I approached the whole milking thing, I understood that robotic milking is robotic milking. It takes a duty off of your hands to relieve yourself of manual labor. So I think if you’re looking to get robots to reduce labor, you should be looking at your whole barn, not just the milking. I looked at the DCC Waterbed at the show and toured a barn. I fell in love with them…It relieves labor, it saves me time and money, I have record breaking SCC numbers, and it wasn’t that much difference in cost.”
- Nels Goblirsch, Wabasso, Minnesota
250 DCC Waterbeds | 3 robotic milking units
Reduces cow stress
“In this situation we are stepping back and giving the cows their own chance to make decisions. And we are making an environment that is facilitating the cows to make their own decisions – a good environment, good layout that is not affecting their flow of movement.”
- Santiago Utsumi, Kellogg Research Farm, Michigan State University
220 DCC Waterbeds | 2 robotic milking units
Robotic milking and sand bedding don’t mix
SAND ISN'T worth it
Sand bedding is known for requiring significant amounts of labor to maintain comfort. The constant need to add sand bedding and level stalls is not only expensive, but in a robotic milking facility, more equipment in the pen is disruptive to the cows’ natural flow. The added stress that this causes means fewer visits to the robot and ultimately lower milk production.
With DCC Waterbeds, the cows are comfortable, the barn is quiet and the cows are encouraged to produce to their full potential.
Protect robotic milking equipment
In addition to disrupting the cows, sand is abrasive and gets into the mechanical parts of the robotic milking system. Some robotic milking dealers have estimated that the cost of sand adds an additional $400 per robot per month in maintenance and replacement parts. Producers often turn to more frequent or larger surface areas of singeing to help reduce sand sticking to the udder, another added cost.
With DCC Waterbeds, udders are clean and robots work better, longer.
Cows on own schedule
“I can let the cows lay on their own schedule and don’t have to get them up to bed if they’re dry. I knew I had to put feed in this morning, so I just scratched the beds that were empty. Then when I push the feed up, some of the cattle will get up, and I go scratch those beds. If a cow is lying there and she looks clean and comfortable, I just let her lie there.”
- Steve Derksen, Abbotsford, BC
75 DCC Waterbeds | 1 robotic milking unit
Sand isn't economical
“We thought briefly about sand, and it was very brief. When I ran the numbers it wasn’t going to work for us. We would have had to haul it in, and the daily maintenance, the wear on equipment, and the wear on the robots wouldn’t have made it economical. 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.”
- Dan Diederich, De Pere, Wisconsin
300 DCC Waterbeds | 4 robotic milking units
For all of its comfort benefits, sand has some serious competition
"If sand is the gold standard, DCC Waterbeds are the diamond standard."
*Research by Dr. Diana Stuart, Michigan State University & Dr. Becky Schewe, Mississippi State University (March 2012 Robotic Milking Conference, Michigan State University)