Monday, May 19, 2008

Water Beds for Cows? Yes, and TV too...

This isn't a joke:

There's reason coddled cows get water beds, flat-screen TVs
[...] Industry experts say water beds are increasingly being used in dairy farms across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe, where the idea originated more than a decade ago.

The idea is to boost milk production by making the cows more comfortable. Leo Timms, a dairy scientist at Iowa State University, estimates cows with comfortable bedding produce 6 percent more milk daily.

"There's no question, probably one of the most important things is the comfort of the surface they lay on," said Timms, who conducts research at a university dairy facility. "The overwhelming majority [of dairy farmers] understand that."

Christie estimates his cows' milk production has increased 10 percent since he installed the water beds. He figured a flat-screen TV couldn't hurt, either, so the cows are spending the spring snoozing in their beds and enjoying "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Dr. Phil" and other shows. [...]

Who knew? The cows spend as much as 18 hours a day on the beds. Read the whole thing for more details, the reasoning seems sound, and the results practical.

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