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Jefferson dairy cows get waterbeds

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Monday, July 09, 2012

The Holstein and Brown Swiss cows at the family-owned and operated Van Loon Dairy near Jefferson rest on waterbeds instead of wood chips or straw.

“We have about 800 cows total and milk about 370 twice a day,” Ben Van Loon said. “We started installing the new water beds in January and hope to have the whole operation switched over by the end of the year.”

“They have been using the water beds in eastern states for several years, but it’s pretty new out here,” Van Loon said. “Other people have been asking us how it’s working and they’re kind of waiting to see how we do with it.”

The water beds cushion the cows’ knees and hips, decrease bacterial growth and help keep the cows warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer months. The units also reduce bedsores, abrasions and swelling of pressure points.

Read more at The Albany Democrat-Herald.

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