Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey M. Bewley

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph L. Taraba


Lameness and mastitis are the two most costly diseases in the dairy industry. Reduction of these diseases through housing and management is beneficial. Compost bedded pack (CBP) and sand freestall barns were compared in a long-term, on-farm study to assess the effect of housing on each disease. Another research objective was to evaluate the effects of ambient weather conditions on moisture and 20 cm internal temperature of CBP. Compost bedded pack moisture, C:N ratio, and internal temperature effects on cleanliness, mastitis, and bedding bacterial counts were also considered. The last research objective was to evaluate the economics of bedding material decisions in CBP and provide a user-friendly decision support tool to predict bedding costs and usefulness.