There is something about building a Sand Castle at the beach that is so satisfying and spectacular. The sand feels wonderful beneath your toes and molds to your body. The sand can be formed into anything your heart desires.
On our dairy farm, our cows are equally excited about sand. Sand is their bed. Sand is the best bedding we can use for both our cows comfort and health.
At Fairmont, we use “deep sand beds” which means there is not even a floor to the bed, it is all sand. The sand molds to cows bodies, just like ours at the beach, making a custom bed for each animal. This type of bedding has proven to be the top choice for dairy producers when it comes to leg comfort, providing a soft spot for the cows hocks to rest and an easy material to get back up in. Sand also beats out other bedding choices due to the nature of it being non-organic (not related to or derived from living matter), meaning the growth of bacteria is a non-issue compared to bedding with shavings for example that comes from a living organism. The growth of bacteria in bedding can lead to infections of the udder, called mastitis. That is why it is very important for our cows health and the quality of our milk to use the best bedding we can find.
With all of the positive aspects of sand, finding a plentiful and consistent source for our bedding is often troublesome. With our recent purchase of the Norman Dix property on Route 2 in Plainfield, we found sand! If you are local to our Central Vermont area, you may have seen the project we were working on this winter. We have been digging sand and running it through a screener to ensure a high quality bedding product for our cows. By extracting the sand we were able to improve the field by making the unused hill in the middle of the field usable! Another added bonus was driveway material that was screened out of the sand.
Our trucks have been busy this past winter hauling sand to the main farm in East Montpelier to stockpile top quality bedding for all the beautiful ladies at Fairmont Farm!
Our cows…the reason why we love sand like a child on the beach.