Today was my first day on a Dairy farm. I was really aprehensive because I’ve not been to a place where the animals are just business before. I wasn’t sure how to act.
Anyway it was a great day and I learnt and saw a lot. Firstly I had a little tour, and then hearded the cows up to the milking parlour. They are supposed to walk with a straight back, and the ones that don’t, or arch it are lame. I saw a few lame ones.
Then I assissted milking, which, don’t laugh now, is actually pretty difficult and really messy.
I bottle fed a day-old calf, which wasn’t co-operating very well, and then the others that were older had buckets.
The milk was colostrum which contains antibodies and helps the immune system to develop.
We then saw the heavily pregnant cows - the farmer told me the ones with the bigger udders and greater drops between their spine and hips are the ones closer to calving.
I think today was a milestone in my career as I stuck my hand up the pregnant cow and felt the legs and nose of its calf - it was in the correct position. It had to be delivered with a ratchet though because it was quite wide around the hips.
After, the mother didn’t get up, which wasn’t a good sign. The farmer decided to give it calcium, because he thought she had milk fever. Milk fever is when the animal puts too much calcium into its milk, so when the calf is born, it has little for itself. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction, so the cow has difficulty moving, and eventually will suffer heart failure.
Looking forward to learning more :)
So I didn’t really do enough to update every day but things I need to remember and write notes on:
Vaccinations: Flu & Tet
Cushings - research.
Proud flesh - research.
Eyes - dye: hole in cornea/ulcers.
Blocking coffin joints to test for navicular disease.
Sorry this makes no sense. I start on a dairy farm today so perhaps I will have more things to write about.
Asked by danceanthem
I know now. I researched :P