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Dried manure solids – economic benefits and cow comfort

Dried manure solids – Updated on January 22nd 2022.  The use of dried manure solids (DMS) as bedding provides many economic benefits. And without the need to manage bedding supply, it makes the logistics on a dairy farm much easier as well. Plus, it avoids the addition of nutrients from off-farm sources. But what about cow comfort and animal health? The Cornell Waste Management Institute at Cornell University has analyzed different bedding strategies to find an answer. The Cornell study also goes into details on herd health, bacteria and somatic cell count. The conclusion is that separated manure solids are a great alternative to sand or other bedding materials, and certainly a viable bedding option for many dairy operations.

You can also review this Progressive Dairy article that provides a great comparison between different bedding types and manure separation processes. Interestingly, the farm that went from sand bedding to separated solids actually had the lowest number of mastitis cases. And the same farm also showed the best economic results with the switch to manure separators.

Manufactured Bedding boosts cow comfort

But is there a difference between dried manure solids and manufactured bedding as promoted by Trident? Yes, there is. With Trident’s bedding recovery technology the key is to produce bedding material that only contains the large fiber, which in turn provides excellent drainage characteristics and uniform support for resting cows. Small particles that could stick to the cows’ utters and possibly cause health issues, are eliminated from the bedding material. And of course, the bedding needs to be dry enough in the first place before it goes back in the barn. Analyses of bedding produced with a Trident system have shown dry matter results in the 38-39% TS range. The bedding typically is stored in a designated storage area, but essentially it is available for immediate use in the barns. And the system recovers enough fiber material to provide a comfortable layer of bedding for all their cows.

Cornell Waste Management Institute: Dried Manure Solids

Hoard’s Dairyman article: Dried Manure Solids

Dried manure solids as bedding material

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