What constitutes good quality bedding?

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There have been traditionally a variety of bedding materials and bedding routines for housed dairy cattle, the choice of which is based on a variety of factors, most notably material cost but handling, storage and application also need consideration.

While the primary consideration of bedding materials may be in the avoidance or reduction of mastitis problems in the herd, there is some evidence to suggest that the material used for bedding can have an impact on herd mobility.

The ability for cows to grip well as they lie down or stand limits the potential for injuries from slipping, and the incidence of slat foot in dairy herds have been tentatively linked to a lack of good bedding management.

Some wood based products have splinters in them. These are sharp pieces of wood from 6mm to 15mm long mixed in the bedding; these splinters piercing the cows’ hocks can cause infection and swelling of the hocks and affecting the cow’s performance and mobility.

Increasingly there are also recycled wood products on the market. These products contain recycled wood, MDF, plastics, metal, urea-fomaldhyde plastic, PVA glues and animal glues.

These products can be easily identified by spreading the material out on a flat surface and separating the particles. You will see the impurities in them.

The MDF is easy to detect also, if you throw a small amount into the air and the particles remain airborne for a period or indeed continue to rise this is probably due to the very fine MDF particles in the bedding. Another clue is also if there are fine particles of dust hanging off the shed walls and roof structure.

At Miller Bedding their 100% MDF Free virgin sawdust offers excellent absorbency rates which ensure that cattle stay cleaner and drier for longer and earlier in 2016 they were delighted to launch the sale of wood pellet fines, an increasingly popular bedding choice which ensures a cheaper and longer lasting bed, again 100% MDF Free.

Products are available in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of all dairy farmers and with constant supply this enables dairy farmers to manage stock levels in an affordable manner.

With all products being easy to use, bedding products are suitable for automated spreaders, scrapers and slurry systems and provides a “good quality” bedding choice.

Making deliveries throughout Northern Ireland with both Red Tractor Assurance Dairy Scheme and Farm Quality Assured compliance, Miller Bedding has been supplying an increasing number of dairy farmers from Kilkeel in Co Down to Castlederg in Co Tyrone and everywhere in between with one dairy farmer from Ballygawley, Co Tyrone commenting on “consistent quality of the product, reduction of dust when spreading, and its ability to support low cell counts” as the reasons why he switched to Miller Bedding.

To understand how Miller Bedding can support your dairy farm please contact Glen on 028 7133 8383 or Drew 07739 941 699 or email info@millerbedding.co.uk