Dairy farmers can earn an extra of Sh3,000 from milk by letting their cows lie on a waste rubber-made mattress after feeding.
John Muya, the production manager of DelLava InServices, said that cows which rest on mattresses increase milk production by 10 per cent to 12 per cent because of the comfort they receive.
“A comfortable sleeping zone gives the cow peace of mind to concentrate on milk synthesis. Free flow of blood during resting ensures that there is uninterrupted conversion of feeds into soluble nutrients, before being turned into milk,” Muya said during the Nakuru Agricultural Society of Kenya show 2016.
Cold causes low production
Cows that rest on rough cold or wet floors lose a lot of energy in keeping themselves warm. The rough surfaces may cause minor injuries to the skin, which may be entry points of disease causing micro-organisms. The skin openings will also be feeding points for irritating fluid sucking flies.
This rectangular material can last for three to four years, Muya said.
“Since the mattress is made of rubber, draining of water is easy-in case the cow urinates on any part. It is also easy to clean to remove the faecal and urine odour. This mattress is soft to the cow, but tough too for durability,” he said.
Health benefits to farmer
Increased milk yield will reduce the cost of production, which is a financial benefit to the farmer.
The mattress also has health benefits to the cow.
“Mastitis is one of the most dangerous infections that can cause sudden drop in milk production-and in severe cases, drying. A cow that spends most of its time on the mattress is less prone to such infections because the udder and its teats do not touch dirty floors,” Muya said.
A healthy cow will also give more milk besides reducing costs of treating such diseases.
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