Another week has passed and the weather isn’t as bad as it has been here in Fair Oaks, Indiana, thank goodness. This week, I commenced looking at various parameters for my assigned focus on the transition period in dairy cows. I spent time every day collecting total mixed rations (TMR) and manure samples, and freezing them for further consistency analysis with the nutritionist. I also started to weigh and record weighback feed so that we can document exactly what the cows are eating, while beginning to body condition score dry, fresh and lactating cows and checking their rumination patterns.
Also this week, I took some straw samples to be sent to the Alltech lab for analysis. In doing so, I decided that in order to take an accurate sample, I would need to wait until they began to grind the bales in the feed centre. It was a good idea, as I ended up with a varied sample, but I also ended up with two boots full of straw and dust that I’m now trying to get out of my carpet at home. That is all part of the job I suppose!
One thing is for sure… I have been staying very busy!
As far as curious cows go, there is definitely a good contingent of them here at Herrema Dairy. Each time I enter a pen to carry out a task I usually end up with my own little pack of cows following close behind sniffing and licking my clothes. Sometimes I can even feel a tug on my jacket or overalls. It seems like they’re trying to tell me that they want a selfie!