Waterbeds encourage cows to produce more milk
GOSHEN, Ind. – Getting a good night’s sleep is important for a cow’s milk production. At Sunnyview Farm in Goshen, one farmer is using waterbeds to help his cows get a good night’s sleep – and has seen positive results.
The day starts at 5 a.m. at Sunnyview Farm. That’s when Kalvin Imhoff wakes his cows from a night of sweet slumber on their waterbeds.
"A cow needs to eat and sleep, drink water. And just keep doing that day in and day out. A cow likes consistency and waterbeds are consistent. Everyday the same. And waterbeds provide consistency that the milk cows love,” said Imhoff.
When the cows are more comfortable, they sleep better. When they sleep better, they produce more milk.
That makes life a little bit easier on the farm for Imhoff - in more ways than one.
"Waterbeds are low maintenance and basically they take care of themselves,” said Imhoff.
The old sand beds made liquid drainage messy. Waterbeds allow for easier care and upkeep for the farmers.
"The waterbed consists of a rubber, you put fourteen gallons of water in and there is a little bubble by each waterbed and that little bubble sheds all the milk and urine off to the side. So the cows lay high and dry,” said Imhoff.
Sunnyview Farm added the waterbeds in the winter of 2005. Since then, the cows have been producing more - a lot more. So Imhoff plans on keeping them.
"I love the waterbed and I am sticking to the waterbed,” said Imhoff.
Imhoff is the distributor for the waterbeds in this part of Indiana. He says he has sold over 4,000 beds in the past 5 years.
There are about 12 other farmers in the area that prefer the waterbeds for their cows.