Udderly Happy: Ohio Farmer Gives Cows Waterbeds to Boost Milk Production

Happy cows produce more milk. That's why Bill Timmons has put 200 waterbeds in his barn.

The Geauga County farmer says he spent nearly $40,000 doing it, too.

Crazy? Timmons says far from it. He says daily milk production jumped more than 20 percent after just two weeks of the cows relaxing in their new beds.

"You take care of them, and they'll take care of you," Timmons told MyFOXCleveland.

Each waterbed — slightly smaller than a full mattress, though without a headboard — holds 14 gallons of water within a tough rubber hide. The liquid cushions a lounging cow; in essence, the 1,500-pound animal blissfully floats atop inches of water.

At this point, he's one of the first northeast Ohio farmers to invest in the bedding, a trend that began in the United States about ten years ago.

Dean Throndsen is owner of Advanced Comfort Technology, the lone North American producer of cow waterbeds. He says there are about 150,000 of the beds around the country.

Temple Grandin, an animal-welfare expert and professor at Colorado State University, studed the beds and admitted being surprised by the results.

"When we first started doing our study, we thought it was a joke," Grandin told MyFOXCleveland. "Then we saw the data. They work. If I built a dairy today, I'd put them in."

Click here to read more on this story from MyFOXCleveland.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.