Mats make the milkers move

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — People like to be comfortable when they sleep, investing heavily in the emerging and changing mattress technology. So why shouldn’t cows and horses expect the same kind of mattress treatment?

If plastic cows are your thing, you must go to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock. Plastic black-and-white cows are everywhere. Comfortable plastic cows, with content expressions on their faces. The cows at the Promat display were especially content. Promat makes mats for dairy cows. To date, they have more than four million dairy cows lying on their mats in 55 countries.

“The more a cow lays down, the more milk she makes,” said Promat representative Chris Keane. “We want her laying down 12 to 14 hours per day to get her off her feet and reduce her stress. That’s where the high milk production comes from.”

The Visco gel foam is made from recycled tires. Promat is one of the largest users of recycled tires in Canada. The cover typically lasts 15 years before replacement, and the rubber stuffing lasts virtually forever. | Ron Lyseng photo

Promats are made from recycled tires. Promat is one of the biggest users of recycled tires in Canada. They have plants on the East and West Coast, plus one in Ireland and in Belgium. Keane says the cover typically lasts 15 years, then you install a new cover. The rubber pad inside last forever.

“This is definitely not new. Promat started in 1991. We invented the idea, mainly for dairy and horses. You seldom see horses laying down. Give them good mat and they will lay down.

“There’s a wide price range depending on the cows, the barn, the kind of straw, the milking system. They range from $125 to $600 per mat.”

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