Friday, June 3, 2011

Monday’s: Please can I have a pedicure???

Our cows are getting pedicures! They get them about twice a year, and sometimes they even get another special treatment!

On our large dairy we milk 2200 cows and to make sure we give our ladies the best of pretty much everything we also have their feet trimmed! In the following weeks I will describe what generally happens on any given day of the week here at our farm. And what better day to start with is a Monday!


Every Monday our hoof trimmer Billy comes and he will trim our cow’s feet. He will do anywhere from 80 -100 cows a day. And If I say a day, that means 80 cows in 8 hours…

Billy comes from a different part of Indiana and he brings his own chute (this is a device where you put the cows in to get trimmed). This chute is pretty nifty because it will pick the cow up to "working level" (so our dear Billy doesn’t get to many problems with is back) and has “leg holders” to put the particular leg of the cow in so Billy can work on it. This holder will also bring the foot closer to Billy so he can have a good look at them. He will make an assessment and then he will trim and or treat.


Because our cows walk on concrete most of the time it is very important to take a good look at them regularly. We do have rubber mats in our parlor for the cows (we have a parallel parlor, this means our cows stand in the parlor side by side and get milked from behind) so every time they have to make a 90 degree turn, it doesn’t have such a bad impact on their feet or legs).


Sometimes Billy has an assistant who helps him get the cows into the chute and make sure that the cows aren’t getting too stressed out because it’s a “new” thing. It isn’t really new to them but our cows like consistency, and if you only have a pedicure once every half year, it might throw them off a bit. If you have two guys, you yourself don’t stress as much, and the ladies will stay calmer and feel more comfortable as well. If Billy finds a cow who has an problem or an "auwie" he’ll make sure it will go away and he will put a nice little wrap (bandage) on her feet so the medicine stays in place and the dirt (manure) and liquid (water and pee) stays out.


We give our cows their pedicures about halfway true their lactation, and right before they go to the other farm (where they will be running outside, stand in the mud and play in the sun while being 7 months pregnant). During the week we will check and make sure none of the ladies needs a special treatment besides from their regular treatment, if they do we just write them on a chalk board and she will see Billy the following Monday.


Besides the trimming which Billy does, we also have a foot bath every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The ladies will walk true a foot bath which is prepared for them by our guys. We put copper sulfate and a special organic booster in this bath. This copper sulfate and organic booster will kill off the bacteria and will clean and dry out the hoofs.

Yep, those girls are pretty lucky… Their feet get way more attention than mine!

If you have any questions or would like to see or hear some other things that happen here at our farm, please write me a comment and i will try to work it in!


...

39 comments:

texwisgirl said...

what a great post, leontien! didn't know all that was done for cow hooves! i get my horses trimmed, and i've seen folks trim their goats too around Bloggerville, but for some reason didn't realize cows were done too - the small dairy i grew up on in Wisconsin didn't as far as i know!

Out on the prairie said...

I never knew you had so much maintenance with cattle. I know horses needed trimmed but never knew it about dairy.

The Wife of a Dairyman said...

I haven't seen a hoof trimmer chute where the cows are standing. Our hoof trimmer has a chute they walk into and then by motor, it's tilted to the side....didn't realize there was anything different. Wow! 2,200 cows! That's huge! We milk just over 200:)

Samantha said...

Your girls are so well taken care of!
Fascinating reading...

Sandra said...

this is truly fascinating. first of all my chin hit the floor when my mouth dropped open from shock on the 2200 cows, mind blowing numbers. i had no idea all of this goes into taking care of the cows. i had in my mind the cows live in a pasture, you call they come and they get milked. whoo hoo and i trapped in the past. thanks for sharing

Clint said...

My, my---so much for the romantic thoughts of runnin' a dairy farm! This sounds like WORK! I'm impressed!

Marissa ♥ said...

2200?! That's a whole lotta cows!
:)

Thanks for the tour around your dairy, very interesting seeing how things work. Tt looks like your ladies are very well cared for!
Billy's chute is a pretty awesome thing. Do I even see cooling fans on it?
:)

Julia said...

Wow, you have a large farm and so modern and clean.. That's a lot of hooves to trim. We get ours trimed the same way twice a year. We only have about 70 milking cows. JB

Feral Female said...

Very cool, thanks for sharing the process! We trim out goats hooves by hand but then again they are a wee bit smaller and easier to handle. =)

Sharon said...

I didn't realize you had such a large dairy farm! Yep, gotta keep good care of the girls, they are your milk and butter!

Interesting apparatus that he has there!

It's me said...

Wat een gelukkige koeien...ik ga elke 6 weken naar de pedicure.....heerlijk....en soms...auwwwww...helaas we worden ouder en ouder...hihihih!!geniet van een heerlijk weekend...xxx...

bon bon said...

if billy does 80+ cows in one day, and you have 2200 cows, then it takes about 27 visits for him to finish them all, which is half a year! sooooo, billy must just keep coming every monday! :o)

Kim said...

Wow! That is really cool. I have never heard of cow pedicures.

Dreaming said...

I am so glad to learn more about dairy farming. I have always been fascinated by it... not sure why!
I love the portable chute - what a great idea. I had no clue that cows needed to have their hooves trimmed, although I should have been able to figure that out!

Debbie @ Swampbilly Ranch said...

Sounds like your girls have it better than the California cows.

Lori Skoog said...

I'm very happy to hear that your cows have time on pasture. You have a very caring and thoughtful operation.

Larkrise garden girl said...

What lucky cows! What an interesting way to make a living. Trimming cows hoofs all day. I learn so much from your blog. Every time I drink milk I'll think of cows getting their hooves trimmed. Cheri

missing moments said...

Wow, great post! So much care for the cows. My granddad trimmed our horses and ponies hooves but never knew about cows. Guess it makes sense though!
Such lucky tootsies!

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What an interesting post! I love a pedicure, so why wouldn't a cow too? :-))) But my husband is from Wisconsin, and they raised beef cows, and his brother now has dairy cows so when I showed him your post he acted like he already knew everything--Why don't I believe him?

I hope you have a great weekend!!

Nancy said...

Interesting post, Leontien! That alot of cows to give pedicures to. :)

Phyllis said...

Hi there. I've just logged onto my own blog for the first time in ages and saw that there was a comment from you. It's so very nice to meet you.

This is such an interesting post. I just love cows and it's nice to read about a farm that takes such good care of theirs. I know animals raised by the industrial farms aren't treated right at all.

Thanks for the education..and for taking such good care of the cows!

Lois Evensen said...

What a fabulous post! I love visiting your farm and learning so much about it! wow!

Sunday hugs from Port Canaveral,
Lois

@boerenfluitjes said...

Leuke blog,
Boerentaal in het Engels is even wennen, ben geen boerin. Voetenbadje moest ik erg om lachen.
Geef maar een tweetje als er weer een leuke koeienblog is.
Nice Blog. English farmlanguage takes some getting used to as i'm not a farmer. I liked the footbath.

Bye, bye!
Citygirl @boerenfluitjes learning about Dutch countryside on twitter.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Sweet cows these are! Enjoy a loveliest of Sundays, Leontien. Mine is coming to an end. A whole new week is waiting, lots of sun and a birthday to celebrate (my oldest son turns 7)
Love to you o xx o

Ohiofarmgirl said...

someone was buying copper sulfate at the feedstore and i couldnt imagine why they would need such a big bag! now i know. and... hee hee hee i got my links fixed! thanks for the tip!
http://adventuresinthegoodland.blogspot.com/2011/06/about-lets-try-this-again.html

Kristi said...

Pedis for cows... who know!! LOL!!

Following you via GFC from the I Love My Online Friends blog hop!

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I love your blog! Thanks for coming over to visit. And yes. If you could send some of that rain, we would welcome it. But then we would do that even without forest fires. When it rains here, it's a celebration! :)

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

An interesting post. 2,200 cows are a lot. The dairy across the road from me milked around 100 cows. They went out of business a few years ago and now board cows for other dairies that are not being milked.

lisa said...

Oh my goodness, I never knew so much went into doing this. It really is quite a job.
Thank you so much for sharing it here! So interesting.

Things Sent My Way said...

I'm following from the I love my online friends Monday hop. Come visit me back!

Michelle @ Things Sent My Way

jamfiescreations1 said...

Very interesting post. I am following from "I LOVE MY ONLINE FRIENDS MONDAY HOP". Hope you can come over and visit me @

www.jamfiescreations1.blogspot.com

Mary O

Allison said...

My husband grew up on a farm in Switzerland and is going to love seeing these pictures and how you take care of cows over Indiana way. ;)

It's me said...

Hoi...hier ben ik nog even.....hoe zie je dan dat ik meer nederlandse volgers heb dan outsiders??....vertelll.......xxx..

Dianna said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting!
I found your post very interesting since I grew up across the highway from a dairy barn. That one was very small, though. The cows were out in a pasture except for twice a day when they were brought in to be milked. When I was a little girl, I would ride on the tractor when the dairy worker went out to round up the cows. Such special memories of my summers as a child.
Looking forward to reading more of your posts! Hope you'll come back to visit me often!

Shell said...

Wow, this is really interesting! :)

Appleton Steel said...

We are the manufacturer for the hoof trimming chute that Billy uses, and have customers all over the world. Please visit our website at AppletonSteel.com. We also have several videos on YouTube featuring our hoof trimming chutes.

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