(AUBURN TOWNSHIP)-There are some lucky cows in Auburn Township on these cold frigid days. At Bill Timmon's farm in Geauga County the cows sleep on waterbeds! His 200 dairy cows get to sleep on 14 gallons of water concealed within the mattress'tough rubber exterior.
The liquid cushions the 1500 pound animals and their body heat warms the water as they essentially float on top of the mattress which is covered in sawdust.
Up until a few years ago the fifth-generation farmer housed the cows in an old barn on the 85-acre farm. The animals slept on beds of sawdust and shredded newspapers and the cows spent many hours on their feet. It's recommended cows spend 12 to 14 hours a day on their side.
Timmons says he's gotten a few laughs over the million dollar investment on his creature's comforts. But, he's having the last laugh. He says milk production goes up 3.5 pounds for every hour they spend on the waterbeds. Timmons was one of the first Ohio farmers to invest in the bedding. It debuted in Europe more than a decade ago.
Photos courtesy of Bill Timmons