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Bedding material for dairy cattle

June 23, 2011
Written by Manure Manager
 
July 28, 2009 – Manure is not only a valuable resource in its liquid form- Innovative dairy farmers are now reclaiming some of the best bedding material available from the undigested fibers in the manure produced by their own animals.

Ideal Bedding Material
A heavy milk cow wants to be bedded well. The choice of the appropriate bedding material is therefore not to be "taken lightly." All traditional materials have their advantages and disadvantages: Straw contains unknown bacterial contaminants and has high storage and disposal costs. Sand is a poor absorbent and its abrasive qualities will wear out machine parts leading to even higher expenses. Wood shavings are expensive and not always readily available. The drawback which all of these materials have in common is that they must first be brought to the farm, with some cost for transportation, and then disposed of later. Those who can afford it still opt for the use of rubber cow mats and mattresses.

A spokesman for Bauer says that their BRU system (Bedding Recovery Unit) produces bedding that is low-priced, fresh, and available every day. It is very absorbent, hygienic and of consistent quality. Because of the increased comfort level, it is readily accepted and used frequently by the cows."

Fully Automated
In the first stage, the raw manure is pumped from the collecting pit into the screw separator where the undigested fibers are separated from the liquid fraction. The separated solids are then fed into a 33 foot (10 meter) long rotating drum

It takes the material about 12 hours to pass through the drum. During this period, microorganisms are continually acting on the material. Through an aerobic process, the temperature inside the drum rises to more than 65°C so that the material is not just dried but also becomes hygienically perfect and ready for use as bedding.

At temperatures of 65°C inside the drum, nearly 100 percent of all pathogens which cause mastitis in dairy cows are destroyed. Additionally, fresh, germ-free bedding material is one of the many prerequisites for high milk output and quality.


The biological process inside the drum is monitored and controlled by means of temperature metering and varying the airflow rate. After drying, the material has a dry matter content of approximately 40 to 42%. Up to 25 cubic yards of bedding material can be produced per day.

Summary of Compost Bedding Advantages:
 
·         Dry, comfortable, and absorbent bedding material
·         Fresh and available every day
·         Top hygienic quality
·         No added expenses for outside bedding material
·         Considerable reduction of storage costs
·         Fewer expenses for slurry treatment
·         Easy to handle
·         Consistent quality
·         Ecologically friendly cycle
·         High acceptance and cow comfort lead to increased milk output

Edit: Catherine Ruscigno

 

 

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