Massaged Cows Are Happy Cows
A few years ago I stumbled upon a Dutch company, Lely Industries, that produces amazing livestock technology. What drew me in were videos of their robotic milking systems, known as the Lely Astronaut A4. You can check out a video of it HERE. While it is an extremely fascinating piece of tech, what kept me coming back to their website was the Lely Luna, a large mechanized massaging brush.
Due to most of the Lely products being geared towards dairies, and with our farm being primarily a seedstock operation, there wouldn't appear to be very much crossover. However, this brush has benefits that are appealing to all types of cattle operations. The most beneficial, but unseen aspect is that it stimulates the skin and improves blood flow. This aids in the prevention of mastitis. On the visual spectrum, the brush cleans dust and dirt from their hair so that their skin is not as itchy. In addition, it is also very relaxing and leads to a calmer herd.
Below is an excerpt from Lely describing the brush:
"Due to its smart design the Lely Luna cow brush is driven by touch and rotates the opposite direction once the cow pushes it. This ensures maximum comfort for the cow and a long lifetime of the brush. As the brush has two directions of rotation the bristles will keep their shape longer than those that have only one. In addition, the minimum of moving parts makes it low maintenance. The Luna cow brush has spirally positioned bristles of variable thickness for maximum comfort. The Lely Luna cow brush is delivered as one part and can easily be installed on a post or against the wall."
Our brush was put into use in March 2014, and has been a source of entertainment and amazement ever since. Within 24 hours of being installed the cows had figured it out and would line up to get their turn! Over the years, some of the cows we bought at the stockyard were a bit high-headed, and I truly believe that this brush helped with their demeanor and calmed them down.
This week we moved the brush from the barn on our old farm, to one of the barns at the new facility. Needless to say that it has continued to be a hit with the herd.