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:
- 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.