Lifting Downer Cows

Calving is just around the corner so inevitably there will be down cows.  When you have decided to lift a down cow it has to be effective.  Hip clamps are meant to assist cows to their feet, they aren't for suspending cows in the air.

  • Firstly make sure that there is a reasonable chance the cow will stand.  Is she bright and has a bit of go about her?
  • Have some padding around the hip clamps, plastic rubber etc.  This is really important when managing a long term downer.  Ensure her skin isn't getting damaged.
  • If she is weak/struggling in the front end use a strop under the brisket.  It is good practice to use this anyway.  See diagram:
Down cows.jpg
  • If she refuses to stand, stop straight away.  Check your diagnosis, or get help:  Waimate 0800 VET 999, Oamaru 0800 VET 111.
  • Keep hip clamps on for a maximum of 10 minutes.  If she has her feet on the ground but not fully weight bearing keep going for a maximum of 5 minutes then stop.
  • Whenever cows are in hip clamps they must be supervised.
  • Correct placement of hip lifters and brisket strap.