8 Loads of Sand

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Dairy Man gave to me
Eight loads of sand

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Seven bales of hay
Six stripping shanks
Fiiiiiiive commodity baaaays
Four milking shells
Three shifts of milking
Two orange tractors
And a twinkly-light-laden faux tree

Every week our dairy gets eights truckloads of sand. For what purpose, you may ask? Do we have a giant cow sandbox in the back for playdates and sandcastles? Do we make sandy cow crafts involving Elmer’s glue and construction paper? Do we throw weekly cow luaus complete with beach volleyball and fruity drinks?

No. All sand on our dairy goes straight to the free stalls to make comfy beds for our ladies.

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Every Wednesday we get a delivery of eight truckloads of sand, or approximately 96 cubic yards. DM uses sand for bedding because it’s an inorganic material that won’t grow bacteria, making it one of the cleanest beds you can get. Plus, several hundred cow hammocks didn’t really seem to be practical.

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If you’ve ever spent a week at the beach, you know that sand gets tracked eve-ry-where. The same is true in our barns. Throughout the week, the ladies track the sand between their beds, the feed bunks, the watering troughs, and the parlor. This grainy mess actually provides great traction in the alleys and ensures that our cows don’t ice skate into the parlor.

After seven days of tracking the sand around the barns and kicking it out of their stalls, the cow beds are ready for a new load of fluffy sand each Wednesday.

Just in time for some relaxing girl talk. And a nap.

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