Planning Dairy Animal Well-Being: Managing the Down Cow

Management of the down cow is a crucial role on the farm.  As employers and managers, we need to set our employees up for success when responding to a down cow.  Employees need to have clear expectations of their job as well as written protocols and standard operating procedures.

A farm’s animal well-being plan must include how to care for these animals and, in the rare situations when the animal is compromised, individuals on the farm must know how to respond appropriately, with the animal’s best interest in mind.  Plans should include how to handle the down animal and implement the treatment plan. Plans should be written down and accessible to all individuals.  Primary caretakers should be trained in proper animal handling.

In the factsheet, Planning Dairy Animal Well-Being: Managing the Down Cow, UW-Extension Taylor County Agriculture Agent Sandy Stuttgen addresses how to:

  • Assess the down cow
  • Encourage standing
  • Care for the down cow

This factsheet is one in a three part series on Planning Dairy Animal Well-Being.  Other factsheets in the series include Planning Dairy Animal Well-Being:  An Introduction and Planning Dairy Animal Well-Being:  Developing the Plan.  For more information or resources regarding animal well-being, please visit UW-Extension Animal Well-Being & Herd Health.

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