LIVESTOCK: Better known for its in- and out-of-parlour feeding systems, and more recently the CowToilet, Hanskamp has now added the BeddingCleaner to the mix of machines it offers. So, what are the benefits of sand bedding on a loose cow barn?

The interest to get cows out of cubicles is increasing on Dutch and German beef and dairy farms, and is behind the development of so-called free living barns. Sand is proving to be a popular bedding material in these open structures, but while this is a good disinfectant, it is not easy to remove the solid manure. Requests for a solution to help keep the sand clean led to the development of the BeddingCleaner, which scrapes off the top 4 to 5cm, sieves it to separate the faeces, which are stored in a 1.5m³ rear hopper.

It sounds simple, but it has taken three years to develop and perfect the system. The starting point was a beach cleaner, which as the name suggests separates rubbish from sand. It did not work with cow muck, so Hanskamp decide to make a machine from scratch. Best described as a marriage between a beach cleaner and an onion windrower, the trailed prototype was ready for testing two years ago. Modified several times since, the pre-production version won an innovation award silver medal at last November’s EuroTier livestock machinery show.

For more up-to-date farming news click here and subscribe now to profi and save.