Québec Producer Installs 'Diamond Standard' of Dairy Bedding

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"Sand may be the gold standard for cow comfort, but DCC Waterbeds are the diamond standard."

The problems and headaches of maintaining sand bedding lead René Dutil to DCC Waterbeds

What if you could get all of the cow comfort benefits of sand bedding, but without any of the headaches of labor, sourcing, consistency, cost, and equipment maintenance?

“Sand may be the gold standard for cow comfort, but DCC Waterbeds are the diamond standard,” said René Dutil of Marygold Farm in Quebec. Dutil milks 120 cows, more than half of which are in his robotic milking barn and resting on DCC Waterbeds. The other cows are in a tie stall facility.

Dutil was looking for a bedding solution with less labor, fewer headaches, and a long lifespan – and one that wouldn’t sacrifice cow comfort.

“I’m sure my cows won’t get swollen hocks on DCC Waterbeds,” said Dutil. “Amazingly, with the DCC Waterbeds our somatic cell count and mastitis is just as low as it was with sand, but with very little bedding.”

Dutil’s cows are just as healthy and comfortable as they were with sand bedding, but now Dutil is saving time and money now that he has switched to DCC Waterbeds.

“DCC Waterbeds are a low-input, high-output system,” said Dutil. “With sand you constantly have your hand in the manure system to repair something, and sand is time consuming. You don’t have time to constantly put new sand in the stalls when it’s time to harvest, and when sand got dirtier it smelled very bad and caused outbreaks virulent mastitis. I have none of those problems now. DCC Waterbeds have been one of my best investments.”

Marygold Farm will save up to $4,000 each year in bedding, and now bedding the barn takes just 10 minutes every other day as he spreads a small amount of peat moss or sawdust on top of the beds. With sand bedding, the cleaning process took three hours every two weeks, plus raking the stalls as often as possible.

“I am saving money in equipment repair after changing from sand. I have no more tears on alley the scraper, the manure tanks don’t have sand traps in them any more that need maintained, and I have no more sand in the robot arm,” said Dutil. “Sand got every where you didn’t want it to get. DCC Waterbeds are better for manure management and equipment.”

The DCC Waterbeds at Marygold Farm were installed in 2012, but Dutil think’s they’ll be providing superior cow comfort well beyond their 10-year warranty. Comfortable cows, less labor, lower costs – a great investment, indeed.