How an advanced Comfort Technology company sold a crazy idea to Dairy Farmers !!
from Huff Post 6/23/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Cow Comfort. If you think cows sleep standing up, think again. Not only do dairy cows spend 12 to 14 hours a day lying down, there’s an entire business built on the premise that they should get their shuteye on — can you believe — waterbeds. “I often think of what it must have been like for my dad to roll over one night and say to my mom, ‘I can’t not do this. Can we sell waterbeds for cows?'” said Amy Throndsen, who works for the Holy Cow Waterbeds (HCW), a Wisconsin-based family business with eight employees that brought in $4 million in gross revenue last year.
Straw Roots Beginnings. Amy is the daughter of Dean & Audrey Throndsen, who started their “bovine” Waterbed business in the late 1990s – back when most cows spent their days & nights lounging around on mattresses or sand. In the years since, the company has gained a following among farmers who’ve been sold on its Dual-Chamber Cow Waterbeds — dubbed DCC waterbeds — which feature an extra front pillow to cushion a cow’s descent dreamland. “Cows are one of the biggest investments on the dairy farm. They’re very expensive,” explained Amy Throndsen, who serves as the company’s director of marketing & international sales. “Farmers want to do everything they can to keep their cows comfortable.”
Waterbeds increase Production. The amount of rest a cow receives and the quality of that rest have a direct effect on how much milk she produces, according to Wendy Fulwider, an animal care specialist who has conducted research on different types of bedding for cows. “When cows are lying down, they’re producing more milk, so you want them to be comfortable and you want them to lie down as much as they want,” said Fulwider. Both waterbeds & beds made of sand have the advantage of molding to a cow’s body and protecting her joints. Sand bedding has long been the gold standard for the diary industry, according to Fulwider, but waterbeds, which go for around $200 are growing in popularity, and have a longer lifespan than other stall surfaces.
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