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Keeping calves healthy

Submitted by Lauren Gough
Chatham-Kent 4-H - Dairy Club
(Posted June 12, 2013)

The Chatham-Kent 4-H Dairy Club learned a lot about raising and keeping calves healthy at a recent meeting.


The club had veterinarian Nancy Charlton speak at their recent meeting held on the Ridgetown College campus on May 29. It was the third meeting of the year for the club.


The meeting opened up with the 4-H pledge.


Charlton spoke about raising calves and keeping them healthy. She also explained the different ways to milk a cow and different barn styles.


Among the questions that Charlton answered was 'how can you tell if a cow is sick?'


Charlton said you can tell if a cow is sick because it won't eat its food and cannot walk properly. Conversely, when asked how you identify a health cow, she said their coat will shine, they would be bright and alert and there would be no swelling or anything out-of-the-ordinary going on.


A cow's body temperature will also help to tell a vet if a cow is sick. Charlton said if a cow has a body temperature of around 38C, they are not sick, but if the temperature is around 40C, then they will probably be sick.


A cow's heart rate and breathing was also talked about.


A cow's eating patterns was also discussed, with Charlton speaking about how much cows eat in a day.


In America they usually feed cows twice a day; once in the morning and once in the afternoon.


Club members also learned about the multiple ways to milk a cow. They include; robotic and hand milking because they were the most popular ways to milk. Approximately two million people milk the robotic way in China and approximately 38 million people in India milk by using the hand-milking method.


The next meeting of the Chatham-Kent 4-H Dairy Club will be held on June 26.

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