“We should have done this much earlier”
The Veenstra brothers are passionated dairy farmers. The welfare of the cows is of paramount importance to them. In order to offer the right cow comfort in the existing barn, they recently invested in new Friesian Island cowmattresses and Cowcoon cubicles.
Passion for cows
Gerke and Joost Veenstra have a dairy farm with 170 cows. The down-to-earth entrepreneurs are real cow farmers. “We aim for optimal cows”, says Gerke who, like his brother, has a passion for breeding. The brothers took over the dairy farm from their father Hans Veenstra (75), who still lives opposite the farm. In 1979 the Veenstra family built a new barn for 60 cows at this place. Over the years, the herd has grown to 170 dairy cows and the free stall barn has been extended and doubled.
In order to increase the comfort for the cows in the existing barn, the dairy farmers recently decided to renovate the cubicles. They have now tackled a third of the barn. “We have now equipped 60 cowbeds with Friesian Island cowmattresses and replaced 30 boxes with the Cowcoon cubicle.”
Good traction and strong preference for the Friesian Island
“We should have done this much earlier”, the farmer says resolutely. “We like the mattresses. The cows have a good traction when they get up and we see that they are comfortable on the mattresses.” When you look into the barn, the cows show a clear preference for the Friesian Island mattress. "These mattresses are always occupied. This is also clearly noticeable during milking,” says Veenstra. “When the first 24 cows leave the milking parlor, you see that they are immediately heading for the new mattresses.“
Renovation in phases
The reason for the farmers to invest in new cubicles was simple: the old mats were not satisfactory and the cubicles were outdated. “It was time for a renovation”, says Gerke. The farmers have now provided one row with the Cowcoon cubicle. This box has a flexible plastic down tube so cows can lie comfortably in the box. “The down tube moves slightly and this is precisely where the cow's hip often hits, ”explains the farmer.
The livestock farmers will replace the cowbeds in phases: “The next 60 cowplaces will soon be renovated by Friesian Island mattress with the Cowcoon cubicle, followed by the last 40 cubicles on the other side of the feeding alley. In this way the cows can stay in the barn during the renovation without being too bothered by it. ”
They speak the 'farmer's language'
The choice for the Friesian Island cow mattresses from Cowhouse was made fairly quickly. “We had already seen the mattresses several times before and then came into contact with Egbert Anne Andringa from Cowhouse International,” says Veenstra. “We had a good feeling about this. They are real farm boys and speak the farmer's language”, he cites as added value. “Moreover, they look into the barn from a different perspective and you learn from this again. You can become somewhat blind to your own situation,” says Gerke. “We are satisfied with the choice we have made and moreover, the technicians did a good job. ”