Dutch Dairy Innovation - Cow Toilets

A cow toilet is being developed in the Netherlands, yes, you read that right. There is soon to be a toilet made exclusively for our bovine friends. A cow toilet that separates cow urine from cow dung, with the aim of solving the problem of ammonia emissions within the dairy farming.

Farm essential

The cow toilet design developed by Dutch company, Hanskamp Agrotech , is expected to go on sale by mid-2020. The design works like a urinal system, but for cows. The CowToilet collects urine before it gets the chance to hit the round and is an automated system. If successful the “CowToilet” could well become a vital piece of farm equipment.

How it works

When a cow enters the gated feeding area, the urine collector automatically moves to the cow’s tuchus (the back-end of the cow), moving up and down searching for the nerve, or suspensory ligament. By this means, a nerve reflex is triggered which causes cows to immediately urinate. The urine is collected in the CowToilet container and is extracted through a suction line into a separate storage tank.

Benefit to all

Reducing ammonia is good for both animal welfare and the environment. Good for animal welfare because it improves the air in animal sheds – because the urine is taken away the cow is not standing in it, breathing it in, so there are benefits for the cow’s health. The farmer also benefits because the CowToilet helps reduces manure disposal costs, and when cows begin to use it on a voluntary basis, the system will decreases a farmer’s workload. The environment benefits when there is less polluting ammonia released to the atmosphere, which has effects on human health. About 90% of ammonia in the EU comes from agriculture.