A Moment of Science

Cows and Waterbeds?

If your cow is not comfortable, maybe you should consider getting it a waterbed. Cows and Waterbeds on this Moment of Science.

Recent research has shown that contented cows yield more milk. For example, cows that are prodded or beaten with sticks give about ten percent less milk than their well-treated colleagues. So of course, it’s in the farmers’ interest to make their cows happy.

While it’s true that cows tend to lie around a lot, that isn’t because they’re lazy. Internally, they’re hard at work. For every gallon of milk a cow produces, about five- hundred gallons of blood need to circulate in her udder–and that’s a lot of blood.

The problem is that lying down for long periods of time hurts cows’ joints and causes their hocks, or ankles, to swell and burn. And that’s where waterbeds come in. They conform to the shape of the cow and allow it to rest more comfortably.

While the research is still out, farmers who have tried waterbeds swear by them. Another plus is that waterbeds for cows are easier to clean than normal stalls. Best of all, the cows love it! The first cows that come back from milking head right for the stalls with waterbeds, and some cows have been known to wait around for other cows to clear out so that they can grab their spot.

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