In January 2012, the Van Loons installed DCC Waterbeds in a portion of their 300+ stalls to see how well they would work on their farm. After testing the waterbeds for six months, the family was impressed with the benefits in terms of decreases in hocks lesions and decided to equip the rest of their stalls with the dual-chamber waterbeds.
“Since then, we've seen some benefits on the health side, like lower somatic cell counts and less cases of mastitis, so it's a bonus,” Ben Van Loon said. “We also never see a cow stuck underneath the stall because they use to be able to dig out the bedding,” he says. “We had a few of those before – things like this that we don't see anymore are a real positive.”
Van Loon expects the waterbeds to pay for themselves in three years. With DCC Waterbeds, he has seen cost savings in not having to purchase the grass seed byproduct and sawdust mixture for bedding. He has also seen time savings in not having to put out the bedding and scraping the alleyways as often because the cows kick out the bedding.
Read more about Van Loon Dairy | This article appeared in the October 30, 2012 Progressive Dairyman Extra e-newsletter. See other featured articles at: http://bit.ly/103012_PDExtra.
We sell DCC Waterbeds because we believe in them. We know they’re comfortable and our customers are saving time and money once they make the switch. But we also know that bedding is part of a total farm management system, so they might not make sense for you.
We thought we would take a second to stop and think about why you shouldn’t install DCC Waterbeds. We've come up with five reasons.
Here is one reason:
You have installed a new sand bedding system and your sand supply is free or cheap
Your system is set up for sand – you have the machines to move it into the barn and out of the manure system, you have the staff to maintain the stalls properly to prevent bacterial growth, you’ve built separating lanes, a sand-ready manure pit, and bought a separator system. It is working. Your cows are comfortable. You are happily getting a return on the investments.
At this point, the expense of sand bedding (sand costs, equipment capital, repairs, fuel, labor) is something you’re prepared to pay as part of your cow comfort system.
When you might consider a change:
Your equipment ages and needs replacing
You cannot hire reliable labor or wages increases
Your cost for materials (diesel fuel, water, electricity, sand) increases
We hope you’ll consider DCC Waterbeds when you’re looking for a change and talk to one (or a dozen) of farmers who have made the switch, like Kalvin Imhoff of Goshen, Indiana.
Are you curious about the others? Click here to read all five.