Dairies pamper cows with chiropractors, waterbedsJune 1, 2012
Lucky, a 7-year-old dairy cow, had been walking with a limp for several weeks when veterinarian Sara Gilbertson was called. Instead of prescribing painkillers, Gilbertson tried an unusual new therapy - a chiropractic adjustment that included a full-length spinal massage.
Gilbertson rubbed the Holstein's spine by gently squeezing it from neck to tail, pausing to apply firm pressure to one hip and readjust several vertebrae. The cow stood in calm silence, moving only enough to reach another mouthful of hay. Later, as Lucky reclined on a bed of sand, Gilbertson noted with satisfaction how relaxed and comfortable the animal seemed.
Cow comfort has become a key concern for the nation's farmers, who have known for generations that contented cows give more milk. The traditional techniques for keeping cows happy aren't complicated - feed them well, keep the temperature comfortable and give them room to move around. But some dairy farmers are turning to a new array of creative options intended to keep cows as mellow - and productive - as possible.
Some farmers have installed waterbeds for their cows to rest on, while others play classical music. And some hire animal chiropractors to give older cows a tuneup and correct minor issues in calves, all part of the effort to ensure maximum milk output.
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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM