Cow Diaries – Stage Six


Following on from last times blog post where our cow had been moved into the ‘low group’, as it was approx. Four months from calling.  Today’s blog post, I wanted to continue to the next stage.  

Around two months from when the cow is due to give birth, we will dry the cow off.  This entails putting a tube up each quarter of a cows bag (tit) and putting a dry cow tube into each quarter.  This is an antibiotic drug that lasts 30 days, that gets rid of cell counts and makes sure no infection occurs during the ‘drying up of the milk’ stage, after that we will then arboreal each tit, which is an artificial plug.  We then stop taking milk From that cow and means it will stop producing milk, it usually takes a cow 3-4 days to dry up completely.  We then move this cow into the group of dry cows – these cows are known as being on their holidays!  They get two months of non work (as such) where they are fed a particular diet of  high fibre, this is in predation for giving birth and gives them a good hormonal balance to aid their recovery, post-partrum.   

Also during this eight week(ish) holiday, the cow will be seen by our foot trimmer.  Our foot trimmer comes on a fortnightly basis to see to the dry cows and to deal with any other lameness within the herd.  He will inspect each of the four hooves and if there’s nothing sinister, the cow will get a routine trim, which is just like a human having a pedicure – but without the paint at the end)!  However, sometimes he may find something that needs more help, such as – 

  1. A legion – will get a block 
  2. An abscess or an ulcer – will get a block 
  3. Foot rot – gets bandaged with copper sulphate which dries out the skin to help its recovery.
  4. Laminitis – given antibiotics initially.
  5. Digital dermatitis – gets bandaged with copper sulphate which dries out the skin to help its recovery.

As always, I would just like to reiterate, what happens on our farm doesn’t always happen on other farms.  All cows are different and lastly, I do hope I don’t receive any negativity for sharing this information as I have taken the time to write this, with no opinions shown, just the facts given! I look forward to sharing the next instalment of the year in a cows life.

Much love

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