Drenching dairy cows? Learning to drench in 10 steps
Adequate hydration is essential for dairy cows, especially the high yielding cows which have a greater need for water intake. Cows can become dehydrated due to excess fluid loss (calving) or decreased intake. This can be recognized by a drop in milk yield, cold ears, sunken eyes or a delayed skin fold test. It is important that farmers recognize these signs in time and respond to them immediately.
Which cows are eligible for drenching?
Any dairy cow suspected of dehydration or decreased intake may be considered for drenching. Fresh cows and cows with a health challenge can also benefit from supplemental fluids. The extra liquid that enters the cow’s rumen supports the animal, assists in eliminating toxic substances from the body and improves her appetite.
Drenching a cow after calving will also have the added benefit of filling the space that was previously occupied by the calf. This will help prevent gas formation which, if left unaddressed, leads to a higher incidence of displaced abomasums.
Drench with extra support
AHV has developed a drench powder that gives the cow an energy boost. The AHV Booster Powder is drenched into the rumen where it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and begins helping the cow within minutes. The boost of energy, along with the improved hydration status, helps the cow start eating and ruminating again, ensuring a steady energy supply. The Booster Powder also has a 2-part buffering effect which helps normalize rumen pH. First, the product contains a buffer which begins helping immediately. Second, the increased rumination causes increased salivation, leading to a steady source of buffer.
Drenching in 10 steps
For some dairy farmers, drenching is a daunting task. Therefore, we explain below how to drench in ten steps:
- Fill the drench bucket part full of lukewarm/hot water.
- Add the Booster Drench Powder to the water. You can use a measuring cup and take powder from the bucket.
- Stir the Drench Powder into the water while adding water, making sure no lumps remain. Final volume should be 5 gallons of solution.
- Insert the drench pump and make sure everything is properly attached.
If using a Tube and Hose
5a. Insert the tube into the cow’s mouth and attach the nose clip to the nose.
6a. Slide the hose into the tube. Push the hose into the tube up to the red line on the hose.
7a. Listen closely. You should hear some gurgling via the hose.
8a. Smell the stomach contents via the hose. This way you can be sure that the tube is placed correctly.
9a. Start pumping and make sure that the entire contents of the drench end up in your cow’s stomach.
10a. Always lift the hose when removing it. This is to prevent your cow from suddenly getting a large amount of water in her lungs.
If using a McGrath-style Pump
5b. Insert the probe into the cow’s mouth and attach the nose clip to the nose
6b. Check to make sure the probe is in the esophagus, not the trachea. This can be done by feeling the probe slide down the left side of the cow’s neck. Also, if you can feel 2 rigid tubes, you are in the correct spot. If you only feel one rigid tube, you are not in the correct location. If this is the case, pull the probe out and try again.
7b. Start pumping
8b. When finished, remove the probe in a swift motion
Proactive support around energy & metabolism
Below we show the protocol we recommend for optimal energy & metabolism. By clicking on the picture you will see more information about the product. However, we always recommend using the products in a program for optimal results.
Get in touch!
Would you like to be visited by an advisor to discuss the health challenges on your farm together? Our AHV Farm Advisor will be happy to visit you to jointly assess the health of your cows and come up with appropriate cow-specific advice.
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