Manure Manager

Bedding material for dairy cattle

July 28, 2009  by Manure Manager



Bedding material
for dairy cattle

Innovative dairy farmers are now reclaiming some of the best
bedding material available from the undigested fibers in the manure
produced by their own animals.


July 28, 2009 – Manure is not only a valuable resource in its liquid form- Innovative dairy farmers are now reclaiming some of the best bedding material available from the undigested fibers in the manure produced by their own animals. The BRU, or Bedding Recovery Unit, developed by FAN Separator GmbH, an affiliate of the Austrian ecotechnology company BAUER, serves to separate, dry and  sanitize undigested fibers from the manure,  giving rise to a self-contained cycle on the farm that results in cost reduction for the farmer, increased cow comfort, increased milk quality, and high milk output.

BAUER affiliate, FAN Separator from Herzfeld in northern Germany, has worked for more than 20 years in the field of agricultural manure separation technology. The BRU concept has been in operation since 2005, and installations in the US and in Russia are operating successfully and to the highest degree of satisfaction from their owners.


Ideal Bedding Material
A heavy milk cow wants to be bedded well. The choice of the appropriate bedding material is therefore not to be “taken lightly.” All traditional materials have their advantages and disadvantages: Straw contains unknown bacterial contaminants and has high storage and disposal costs. Sand is a poor absorbent and its abrasive qualities will wear out machine parts leading to even higher expenses. Wood chips are expensive and not always readily available.  The drawback which all of these materials have in common, is that they must be brought to the farm first, and must be disposed of later. This naturally involves the costs associated with transporting foreign material to and from the farm and to other expenses. Those who can afford it still opt for the use of rubber cow mats and mattresses.

„BRU bedding material shall combine all advantages," affirms BAUER.

"BRU bedding is low-priced, fresh, and available every day. It is very absorbent, hygienic and of consistent quality. Because of the increased comfort level, it is readily accepted and used frequently by the cows.”

The BRU Concept
It is worth taking a closer look at the BRU concept:  The BRU is synonymous with recycling and producing fresh bedding material every day – directly on the farm. There is no need for additional storage space due to the BRUs reduction of the amount of solid matter in the slurry and the overall slurry volume.

Fully Automated
In the first stage, the raw manure is pumped from the collecting pit into the FAN press screw separator where the undigested fibers are separated from the liquid fraction. The separated solids are then fed into a 10 meter long rotating drum by means of a special patented conveying system.

It takes the material about 12 hours to pass through the drum. During this period, microorganisms are continually acting on the material. Through an aerobic process, the temperature inside the drum rises to more than 65°C so that the material is not just dried but also becomes hygienically perfect and ready for use as bedding.

At temperatures of 65°C inside the drum, nearly 100 percent of all pathogens which cause mastitis in dairy cows are destroyed. The inflammation of the udder from mastitis involves huge economic damage to milk farmers again and again. Additionally, fresh, germ-free bedding material is one of the many prerequisites for high milk output and quality.

Fresh Every Day

The biological process inside the drum is monitored and controlled by means of temperature metering and varying the airflow rate. After drying, the material has a dry matter content of approximately 40 to 42%. By means of conveying augers, the bedding material is transported into an intermediate storage area and up to 25 cubic yards of bedding material can be produced per day.

Summary of BRU Advantages:

  • Dry, comfortable, and absorbent bedding material
  • Fresh and available every day
  • Top hygienic quality
  • No added expenses for outside bedding material
  • Considerable reduction of storage costs
  • Fewer expenses for slurry treatment
  • Easy to handle
  • Consistent quality
  • Ecologically friendly cycle
  • High acceptance and cow comfort lead to increased milk output


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