creature comforts

Small dairy farmers (me included) love to dote on their darlings.

We pet ’em. We hug ’em. We may even adorn them in flowers to show our girls how much we appreciate their marvelous milk …

… and (generally) gentle dispositions.

Photo by Lene, also called Manisha via Wikimedia Commons

But, the same can’t always be said for larger dairy operations, where cows are often akin to assembly-line employees, and working conditions can be, let’s just say, less than cozy.

Therefore, the last thing anyone would expect to see in a large commercial dairy barn is cows lounging on waterbeds.


“MJ is trying her hand at comedy again.”

Nope—not this time.

I dare say I’d never dreamed of such a thing. As far as I knew, the waterbed craze fizzled out somewhere in the ’80s, and I wasn’t sorry to see it go (that fad fell under the category of “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should“). Ever try to get out of a waterbed when you’re eight months pregnant?

Yet, much to my astonishment, waterbeds are making a comeback,

finding a new niche under the hocks (and hooves) of dairy cattle,

replacing sawdust bedding and stall mats with the ultimate in indoor cow comfort.

Still don’t believe me? Watch this:

For those of you dairy divas who are dying to quench your lingering curiosity, visit DCC Waterbeds, the company responsible for unprecedented cow contentment.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Now, that is very cool and I approve of this farmer’s effort to improve the lives of his herd. Like you, I am not a waterbed fan because I don’t like the constant movement and it is hard to get up and down on them. Perhaps, these are not as thick and wobbly? My other question is how do you keep them clean? I guess you can rake them and hose them down? They would have to be really durable and tough to withstand sharp hooves and the weight. I saw where the farmer’s sweat shirt was from Ohio State and I know that they have a huge animal science department and teaching dairy farm because I have seen it. My hope is that graduates enter the dairy business with new technology and better ethics towards their animals.

    • Joyce Hein says:

      Those were my exact thoughts, as well Winnie! How do they clean it?? This is wonderful to hear and see.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *