It Is Happy Cow Time In America!
The cows never had it so good as in Wisconsin, where they are enjoying pampering treatments like spinal massages and waterbed therapy, all because the farmers want them to be comfortable. They are doing everything in their power, like going back to traditional techniques, in order to keep their flock happy and productive. The results are impressive – right from lesser impurities in the milk to larger volumes.
1) The Moo Factor
Just like humans, even cows feel stress of the daily grind, or so feel the Wisconsin farmers. That is why they are working in tandem with veterinarians and shelling out money for the prescribed treatments of the bovine animals. One of the veterinarians working on this mission is Sara Gilbertson, who is working on cows at a farm in Chilton, Wis. Sara tries a full-length spinal massage on the cows, which includes chiropractic adjustment, which is unusual for cows. The treatment involves gentle squeezing from neck to tail, pressure on the hips, and readjustment of vertebrae column. After Sara’s treatment, the cows are usually found to recline inside their sheds and actually look relaxed.
2) The Cow Comfort
Waterbeds are being installed for cows to rest on, after a hard day’s work grazing grass at the farms. One of the farmers, in Grafton, Ohio, even spent $71,000 on waterbeds on his farm, so that his 220 dairy cows could enjoy a softer surface while relaxing. Speaking about it the farmer, Richard Conrad said, “They (cows) were real skeptical at first because it was real jiggly but once they adapted they didn’t look back. They just jump on and stay there.” You can surely hear them mooo in delight! But that is not all. Farmers are hiring chiropractors especially for their cows so that they can be given tone-up massages. Speaking about the practice, Larry Meyer, who works at his parents’ farm, said, “It’s kind of like how an athlete with a sprained ankle isn’t as productive. If you can get a cow healthy and back to normal, it makes a difference in their productivity.” If you think all this is b******t, think again! Cows are prone to injuries too, considering the fact that an average bovine may easily weight up to 1,500 pounds. It may slip down on concrete, calf necks may kink during birth, or some other animal may step on them. These injuries, in turn, lead to less production of milk because, let’s face it, an unhappy cow is not going to give you a happy volume of milk!
3) Classical Music
This technique really takes the cake as far as putting cows to comfort is concerned. Germany’s “Dortmund Concert Hall” even plays specific pieces of classical music for specific breed of cows. The Hall even serves milk from those cows during the live performances of the respective pieces of music. How cool is that? One of the advertisements put up at the Hall says, “Which means you’ll now be able to both listen to and taste the musical highlights.” And of course you must have also heard about famous tenor Marcello Bedoni, who is known to serenade cows whose milk is intended for making the most creamy gelato!
4) The Results?
Since the farmers are going to great lengths in order to keep their cows happy and to improve the supply of milk, it is only imperative to ask, does that improve the milk supply? Well, there is no scientific data to back up the farmers’ claims but most of the farmers who have adopted these comfortable techniques insist that they can see a different in the quantity as well as quality of the milk. Farmer Conrad claims that cows, used to produce 80 pounds of milk in a day, graduated to about 90 pounds daily, after the waterbed treatments and other comfortable installations at his farm such as better ventilation and misting technology. In fact, dairy farmers have been saying that with air, temperature, and lighting adjustments, cows are generally happier to produce better quality milk. However, there are other benefits of keeping the cows happy. It is known that climate-friendly cows make meat eating less bad.
However, the farmers know where to draw the line, just as one of them explains, “Cows are creatures of habit. They like things to stay the same. So many producers like to not introduce too much change. Cows just don’t like a lot of weird things happening to them.” Point taken! So it is massages, waterbeds, and classical music only for now.
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