Happy cows resting in their new compost barn

One month have passed since the cows went into their new home. Nice to see so many cows resting. Milk production is up, ruminations are up, cows are getting cleaner, claw health is better but most importantly disease is down! Happy cows Happy Farmers.

More info

Watch this video, it shows the same cows, a month earlier when they entered this new home.. It was submitted by William Scott and Kamilla Breinhild from Australia.

Please let us know what you think, post your comment below. We love feedback, thanks!

Comments (7)

Carolyn

How is the compost kept clean and what are the costs for maintaining the compost? Is there a cost benefit analysis?

Roland

Cows look calm and happy! What is the the composition and origin of the compost? Was there any hygiensation done on the compost?

Kamilla

Carolyn wrote:
How is the compost kept clean and what are the costs for maintaining the compost? Is there a cost benefit analysis?

Dear Carolyn
Thank you for your message. A compost bedded pack is sawdust that is stirred twice daily incorporating the manure and urine into the pack and at the same time adding oxygen so the material composts and breaks down. We are probably growing many different bacterial populations and probably high levels of these. However, these compost barns are very successful due to the fact that cows are well rested and very comfortable so when the cow goes to get milked then she will go and stand and eat after being milked and enough time will pass for the teat ends to close. I don't believe that the way forward for mastitis control is trying to "sanitize" everything; as long as we look after our cows and give them plenty of rest in a dry and soft bed then their immune system is functioning at optimal levels. Since the cows went into this barn milk production has gone up by 5 litres of milk and overall health is a lot better. As we move forward we will get some more figures together. The cost of maintenance is one person on a tractor for 30 minutes twice daily (the pack is 1600 m2). This client have added 3 loads of additional sawdust in 7 weeks.
Kind regards Kamilla

Kamilla

Roland wrote:
Cows look calm and happy! What is the the composition and origin of the compost? Was there any hygiensation done on the compost?

Dear Roland
Thank you for your reply and for watching the video. We are certainly impressed with the results so far. I think that my answers to Carolyn's questions (above) covers yours, but if you have any observations or comments please don't hesitate to write. We have done a lot of research into these compost bedded packs and so far the results are impressive to us and it matches what others have found worldwide. It has really proved to us that the focus need to be on what the cow really needs (i.e. rest in a soft and dry bed, good food, no stress etc).
Regards Kamilla

Jaap

Why are there hardly any cows chewing their gut? They all look very well, but the majority is just laying down and not even taking too much attention at the person holding the camera.

Robert

How many m2/head? Thank you!

Anouk Brinkhoff

Robert wrote:
How many m2/head? Thank you!

The compost barns are designed at 10 m2/head of resting space.

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