Moving Dairy Cows A Daily Challenge For Farmers - WBAY

Moving Dairy Cows A Daily Challenge For Farmers

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Northeast Wisconsin -

The State of Wisconsin prides itself on being a top milk producer in the country.

Veterinary professionals and agriculture educators tell me moving 1,400 pound dairy cows is a major issue for many farmers working to maintain that distinction.

"That is a problem that is an everyday problem on farms. You know, animals get old, they fall on slippery ice like we have right now , that's something every farm has to be aware of and they have to train their people to be able to deal with those and deal with them in a humane way so the cows aren't mistreated," said Dairyland Veterinarian Bill Koffman.

Ag-agents with the UW-extension program say their mission is to make sure everyone working on a farm understands how to move cows humanely.

"There are specific ways we want to use that equipment to help the cows. That's a case where again we need to spend extra time with them instead of losing patience with them," said UW-extension Ag-agent Aerica Bjurstrom.

Vets say it's incredibly important cows are moved because if they don't stand, it could lead to major consequences.

"If they lay down too long with such large muscle masses that they have they can get muscle necrosis and can actually cause them to never get up again," said Koffman.

He says it's on the farmers and dairy cow handlers to do it the right way.

"Sometimes they do have to be encouraged to move, but there is a point where they are not going to try and they don't need to be beat on in order for that to happen. It really takes experience and you don't want to cause undue pain to these animals," said Koffman.

Both people say they believe the dairy farms in Northeast Wisconsin are taking good care of their animals and education is the best way to prevent injures.

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