High Quality Cubicle Bedding and Hygiene is important
Good hygiene is important not only because of mastitis. Up to 30% of cows have wounds resulting from contact with concrete, steel work and abrasive cubicle bedding materials.
Damaged skin in contact with bacteria often results in hock or foot infections which impact on performance. Hock infections are a major cause of lameness in dairy cows. It is estimated that in Holland wound infections are the second biggest cause of abortion in cows.
Keeping cubicles beds clean, dry and free of bacteria is essential. Bedding materials used should be clean and free of bacteria. Most of all bedding should be dry and usage rates should be high enough to keep cows clean. Higher usage rates will generally improve cow comfort and lying times with consequent improvements in performance.
Hygiene is Important for Cow Health, Performance and Profitability
Bacteria only multiply in warm, damp conditions. It is very important that cubicle beds and bedding are kept dry. Adequate ventilation can play a major role in removing moisture and heat from buildings, reducing humidity, and allowing beds to dry.
Ventilation can have a surprisingly large effect on cleanliness of cows and amount of bedding needed, as well as on infection levels. Housing and hygiene are an integral part of any mastitis prevention programme.
Bedding materials which are Caustic should be avoided
Cubicle lime products based on hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) can be highly caustic. Calcium hydroxide when it comes in contact with moisture is a strong alkali, similar to but weaker than sodium hydroxide or caustic soda.
Whilst caustic products are relatively cheap and will effectively knock out bacteria, calcium hydroxide does have disadvantages and should be used with care.
Calcium hydroxide is unpleasant to handle, damages the skin and can cause severe burns to the eyes.
Like caustic soda, when damp it will react with the natural oils in the cows skin turning them to soap. This is a similar effect to prolonged handling of wet cement, it disrupts the natural waterproofing and anti-bacterial defenses of the cows skin.
Over use of hydrated lime in damp situations can result in chapping and cracking of the skin which could increase damage to teats, hocks and the skin surrounding heels and feet. This may actually cause more not less infections of the udder, hocks and feet.
Anti-bacterial Cubicle Bedding Powders
Research has clearly demonstrated that even the best disinfectants will at best knock out around 99.9% of bacteria and that the remaining bacteria are capable of multiplying back to there full population within 8 hours in warm damp conditions.
There is little point applying disinfectants or anti-bacterial bedding powders unless they have long lasting residual disinfectant properties. Frequency of application needs to be sufficiently often that there is always a residue of product on the cubicle bed.
RWN supplies a range of anti-bacterial bedding powders which may be used alone but are generally used with an absorbent bedding material such as straw or sawdust to control bacteria in cow cubicle housing, straw yards, calf rearing accommodation and dry cow housing.
Whilst these products have different modes of action all are non-caustic, and are based on safe natural ingredients. They do not contain unpleasant, toxic chemical disinfectants but do give effective control of bacteria in bedding and are competitively priced.
Can be used alone as a sole bedding powder or in conjunction with sand, sawdust, straw and other bedding materials for effective control of bacteria. Nadins Hydramix
Extremely good, long lasting residual anti microbial effect. Effective against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria associated with environmental mastitis, high somatic cell counts, metritis, calf scours, and other disease conditions. RWN Cubi-Powder
Absorbent, Dry Disinfectant Powder which contains a fast acting, broad spectrum, DEFRA approved disinfectant. Kill pathogens rapidly and continues working from day to day for effective control of bacteria. Non-caustic and doesn't dry or damage the skin. Ultra-Dri
is based on pulverised volcanic rock. It is a non-caustic, very fine powder which is safe and pleasant to handle and with long residual anti-bacterial activity. Usage rates 100 gms/cow/day for bacterial control on other bedding. Available in 1 tonne bags. Vulkamin
Which RWN Cubicle Bedding Powder should I use?
RWN Bedding Powders are an extremely effective means of both improving hygiene and controlling bacteria in dairy cow and calf housing and of keeping cows clean.
These products are competitively priced, pleasant to handle, non-abrasive, and will not damage the cows skin and work well on rubber cow mats and on cubicle mattresses.
RWN Cubi-Powder, Ultra-Dri and Hydramix Lime are available in 25kg bags packed in 1 tonne pallets. Vulkamin is available in 1 tonne bags.
RWN Supplies a Wide Range of Bedding Products in Bulk and in Bags
BETTER HYGIENE, HEALTHIER COWS, MORE MILK, LESS CULLING, MORE PROFIT
Cheaper and more effective solutions to hygiene in cubicle housing
For advice on improving cow comfort and hygiene in livestock housing contact Richard Webster