Old tires find new life in cow mattresses
By Ben Coxworth
January 6, 2010
Cows have it hard. They’re bred to be empty-headed, they have to stand outside in the heat and cold, extraterrestrials occasionally do nasty things to them, and ... well, we won’t talk about what ends up happening to many of them. It’s nice, therefore, to see someone cutting the cows a break. Champagne Edition Inc, based out of Alberta, Canada, manufactures mattresses for the comfort and health of cattle. What’s more, they make the mattresses out of old tires, that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
Sold under the name of Cozy Cow, the $US95 mattresses consist of a tough synthetic cover stuffed with rubber crumb. The rubber comes from discarded tires, about 500,000 of which are shredded on-site each month. The covers are treated with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solutions.
Company spokesperson Jim Hills told Gizmag “Our Cozy Cow mattress system is necessary for a healthy cow to be more productive and less prone to injuries commonly associated with stall activity.” According to the Cozy Cow website, the mattresses eliminate pressure sores, reduce injuries due to cows slipping or kneeling on hard cement, provide insulation, and reduce the need for bedding material (i.e: straw) by up to 75%. Contented cows not only produce more milk, they are also less prone to various ailments.
In fact, the mattress reportedly “Eliminates ‘dumb heifer’ disease.” Thank goodness. Actually, dumb heifer syndrome is a condition wherein cattle will repeatedly injure themselves within their stalls, sometimes to the point of death. If the Cozy Cow decreases the chances of that happening, then that is indeed a good thing.
Under the name of Eco-Flex, Champagne Edition also uses their shredded tires to produce a number of other products, including large interlocking rubber mats designed to provide a springy, flexible alternative to traditional concrete or asphalt sidewalks and roads. They are currently in use in various locations around the world.