Sand vs Mattress

Sand vs Mattress

Great research by Nigel Cook from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Notice how sand bedding leads to almost two hours more lying time!

This is what Nigel Cook says about this results:
The reason for this is two-fold. First, there are on average 42% fewer lame cows in sand-bedded freestall herds (Cook, 2003, Cook et al., 2004, Espejo et al., 2006); secondly, lame cows stand for longer in mattress stalls compared to sand stalls. We believe that the main reason for this is due to the difficulties lame cows have rising and lying down on a firm surface (Cook and Nordlund, In Press).

The table below shows lying time among 208 cows.

Read full article here at >>
Noticed the wide range? What could cause these differences? Please give us your feedback, thanks! (use form below)

Comments (8)

samy barakat

i agree 100% that sand bedded freestall is better but the sand here is a source infection for clostridium

John Ries

Hi Samy,
Having high producing cows is heartbreaking business when they can no longer physically get around. Everything possible to help them always have firm footing, and comfort, should be done. Of course, if it is also economical, it is a no-brainer to implement.
Tthere are people working on ways to be providing cleaner sand. I am one of them, but cleaner sand is just a side benefit of something much more important. EVERYTHING that can help bring profitability should be explored. We're on LinkedIn, too.


sand is great but sand with straw is better

Neil Howie

Amazing how you can watch something every day and not see it. Ken Nordlund ,at the BCVA conference showed us pictures of cows rising on a sand bed, and how ,unlike on a hard or mattress surface, they can use the whole surface of the sole to apply the traction. Now, I watch cows feet as they rise, and can see the pressure applied to the toe end if they are on an ungiving surface. Maybe late in the day, but I am being converted to promoting sand beds where ever possible.

Anouk Brinkhoff

Thanks you for sharing your opinions! Keep up the good work!


Your site is in English only. More nice and in the Russian language Ukrainian or =)

Joep Driessen

Evgen wrote:
Your site is in English only. More nice and in the Russian language Ukrainian or =)

Hi Evgen, we would like to do that sometime, also translate our video learning. Hope that English works for now for you!

James Huber

What mattress system was the sand bedding compared to? I think some of the newer foam mattress options are providing excellent comfort and traction.

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