By Dr Jolly Kabirizi
Keep stalls free of cow dung and urine because the odour is attractive to flies. A clean livestock unit has fewer fly problems. Using cow mats instead of other materials for animal bedding reduces fly development.
Why you should use cow mats
- Comfort and safety: They provide comfort to cows while they stand, walk or lie down. Cow mats are designed to absorb shock and provide cushioning, reducing stress on the animal’s joints and hooves. This leads to improved blood circulation, and animals feel more relaxed and safe. Additionally, cow mats have an anti-slip surface that reduces the risk of injuries and falls.
- Health benefits: Cow mats can help prevent several health problems in animals, such as lameness, arthritis, and joint problems. The cushioning provided by cow mats reduces the pressure on the hooves and legs, and it prevents injuries and infections.
- Improved productivity: Animals that are comfortable, healthy and stress-free are likely to produce more milk and gain weight faster (with good nutrition and other management factors). Additionally, cows that are not standing or lying on hard surfaces for extended periods are less likely to suffer from fatigue and exhaustion, leading to better productivity and reduced vet bills.
- Cow mats are easy to clean and maintain, and they can be washed with water and soap. The mats are also resistant to corrosion and can withstand all kinds of weather conditions, making them long-lasting and durable.
PHOTO CAPTION: A cow mats made from car tyres (this was part of a trial at Kyakuwa Farm to develop affordable cow mats). Courtesy photo