Testing the softness of beds

Steve Adam of Valacta, one of our CowSignals master trainers, has tested the softness of bedding with their impact tester. "We use it for research projects and mostly to convince farmers to add bedding".

We measure softness in Clegg Impact Value (CIV). The golden standard is 0, it's the pasture value of softness.

Here we tested some brand new mattresses:
ImpactTester Valacta  CIV new matresses.PNG
Results vary according to the age / use of the mattresses. Our tests until now tend to show that, for the same type of mattress, the softness decreases with time.

I tested the thickness for different kind of bedding on concrete, for any kind of bedding, to have 0 we need a minimum of 8 cm of bedding.
ImpactTester Valacta  softness improves with bedding depth.PNG
I used very dry bedding. It’s not always the case I the barn. It’s harder when it’s wet.
The finer are the particles, harder is the surface when the thickness is at a minimum. By increasing the thickness, all types of bedding eventually equate to 0 around 6-8 cm.
The bedding thickness is more important than the bedding weight.

For example, if we have a value of 10 with a mattress, we have to add 4 cm of bedding (chopped straw or shavings).

We have some data of different kinds of rubber mats or mattresses (rubber mat are above 18 Clegg impact units). I didn’t have many data for each kind of mattresses but it gives us a good idea that it’s not soft.

ImpactTester Valacta 2.jpg

What do you think of this? How can we give each cow a soft bed?
Please share your thoughts!

Comments (3)

vinda kumar

Cow ke generic me lechan aur ache nesal me near me jankeri


Wat do you think of straw pellets? The farmers I know who have switched are very enthousiastic. I would expect the softness after they have fallen apart will be the same as chopped straw. It's very easy to put in the beds and stays in the beds better than the loose material. It's will stay soft and not become hard like straw /chalk /water.


Question: Are the results converted to cow hoof and knee sizes + their weight? The test equipment shows 10 kgs on a small cilinder. That is nothing compared to real life size.

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