Freestall Management

Proper freestall bedding management is key to keeping cows healthy and producing high-quality milk. Regardless of the choice of bedding materials, the beds must be maintained to proper levels and kept clean of manure, urine and wet bedding in order to keep the cow clean, dry and comfortable. This maintenance routine involves adding fresh bedding to the stalls on a weekly basis, raking the manure and dirty bedding from the stalls daily, and grooming deep-bedded stalls.

McLanahan designs and manufacturers Stall Fillers and Stall Groomers to allow dairy producers to maintain their freestalls efficiently in order to keep the cows clean and healthy.

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Why McLanahan Freestall Management

McLanahan has a team of engineers and sales personnel who understand the importance of proper freestall management. They listen to the advice of dairy producers who need properly designed and built equipment to help them manage their stalls to keep their cows healthy and producing high-quality milk. This teamwork approach has driven the design of McLanahan’s equipment over the years. This equipment is recognized in the industry as being robust and practical because it was designed from the lessons learned from dealing with sand and sand-laden manure. 

McLanahan was one of the first companies to design and build a Stall Filler specifically for putting sand back into freestalls. These Stall Fillers were purpose built machines and have evolved into one of the most durable machines on the market. They allow producers to keep their freestalls at optimal levels at all times.

Stall Groomers are used to rake and level freestall bedding between the addition of new bedding. Grooming the stalls lifts and aerates the bedding material. This allows the top layer of bedding to dry and the moisture to drain down. It also breaks up the hard layer that forms on top of the bedding to create a softer resting environment for the cow.

McLanahan’s Freestall Management equipment allows dairy producers to focus on managing their stalls for optimal cow health and not on managing poorly designed equipment.

How Freestall Management Works

Stall management equipment is used to manage the bedding in freestalls. It begins with the weekly addition of bedding materials and follows that bedding during its time in the stalls before it gets pulled out and mixed with the manure in the alleys.  

Popular Applications for Freestall Management

McLanahan's Stall Fillers can be used to easily fill freestalls with clean, dry bedding, while Stall Groomers can be used to till and aerate the bedding between fillings.

Benefits of McLanahan Freestall Management

  • Keeps bedding materials at an optimum level
  • Keeps bedding materials aerated and dry
  • Keeps bedding materials raked and leveled
  • Keeps cows clean and dry
  • Maximizes milk production
  • Minimizes somatic cell counts

Freestall Management Models

Mc Lanahan Free Stall Management Stall Fillers
Mc Lanahan Stall Groomer Stall Groomers

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is freestall management so important?

Keeping your cows as clean and comfortable as possible will provide you with the most profitable scenario for your dairy. Click here to listen to a short webinar on the importance of freestall management by Dr. Nigel Cook.

How can I get my bedding drier before putting it back into the stalls?

It really depends on what kind of bedding you're using. If you're using recycled sand bedding, a Dewatering Screen or Bedding Dryer can reduce the moisture quickly. A Bedding Dryer can also be used with organic bedding to reduce moisture. Click here to learn about dewatering and drying.

What bedding is best for my dairy?

Choosing the right bedding for your cows is important for the long-term success of your dairy, and a number of factors should go into making that decision. The University of Wisconsin has some great information on the topic..

What is a good source of information on managing the bedding in my freestalls?

Information regarding freestall management is available from a variety of sources. Universities that have done multiple studies are usually willing to share what they’ve found. Several of the universities that we’ve worked with include Cornell and their Pro-Dairy Program, Penn State University and the Dairyland Initiative, a part of the University of Wisconsin.