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 Hardware Disease, Part II
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  1:25:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you've read my Hardware Disease write-up about my cow ingesting a nail and twine and that resulted in her demise, https://www.heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=762, here's an important update.

Slowly, as I've brought my cattle in one by one for various different work-ups, I've been putting magnets in each of them. In the meantime, my heightened knowledge about the danger of cattle + metal has turned up some problems in my hay that I need to address.

Here's a pic of two metal items I found in their feeder recently. Fortunately, my cows didn't ingest the bolt or the rusty piece of jagged metal strapping. Actually, I've found two of these sheared off bolt heads. My husband's comment was "Oh, that looks like it came off the baler. It probably sheared off, the baler stopped working, the farmer replaced the sheared off bolt, and went back to baling hay." My husband's comment regarding the rusty piece of metal was, "Anytime you're running equipment close to the ground like when you're cutting hay, you're going to be picking up trash like that."



Where does that take me? I'm looking into processed hay like Chaffhaye (pasture in a bag), http://www.chaffhaye.com/ or Standlee, right here in Idaho, http://standleeforage.com/featured/alfalfa-for-sale?gclid=CPPagd63nsQCFYhgfgod0VoAJg

So far, I haven't found anyone who's processing organic hay or straw for bedding. Non-organic is better than hay spiked with metal as long as they can tell me that the chemical Clopyralid (commonly know as Curtail) wasn't used. The real stickler is going to be finding alfalfa that isn't GMO. I may have to go with processed Timothy grass hay (still being grown as non-GMO) and supplement their diets with the organic alfalfa pellets I already buy from Modesto.

During a recent visit to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at WSU, a discussion about Hardware Disease ensued. A couple of the older, more-experienced vets started sharing metal stories. I had no idea. For example, Dr. Barrington said he found an 8 inch piece of rebar in the stomach of a cow!!! How and why I asked. Apparently, cattle eat more like a vacuum cleaner in that food bypasses their teeth more than with a horse. Once they get something in their mouth, their tongue takes over, determined to gulp down whatever is in its mouth, chewing be damned.

What are your thoughts? In a way, processed, bagged, non-dusty, non-moldy, cut-at-just-the-right-moment hay is appealing to me. I know Kade swears by Chaffhaye and has used it exclusively for years. Anyone else use bagged hay? If so, what variety and company?

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~

Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  1:49:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The only product the is used here is ground on the site treated with preservative and bagged. I do know some folks who have a setup with magnetized bard that can be used to pull around prior to cutting. Of course aluminum or stainless steel will elude this process.
Being I have the opportunity to hand feed small portions at a time I am able to inspect sn
Mall bales or sections of large bales as I put it in the trough.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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Mike

1667 Posts
Mike
Argyle WI
United States of America

Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  2:09:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Back here there's no insurance that ANY hay is safe. The shear bolts you found are a perfect example. Fencing wire clips are everywhere. Farmers try and try to keep things cleaned up but vacuum cleaner cows are notorious for hardware. That's why there are magnets.

Up at Oscar Meyer in Madison there is a regular collection station for hardware in the processing of carcases.

Magnets for all and keep aluminum electric fencing wire picked up. That's the best you can hope to do without going the gourmet, x-rayed hay route. When you get to pelletized alfalfa I am sure that there is some kind of cost:benefit ratio that applies, perhaps in the grading or screening process.

My kids are sure getting their magnets, and now SOON.

Thanks Maryjane, you are the best.
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chives

313 Posts
Victoria
Shelton WA
usa

Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  5:17:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I will be purchasing a giant magnet.

A cow is the heart of a farm
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  7:55:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Where is the best place to order a magnet? Can a person get it into the cow themselves or does it require a vet visit?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Mar 10 2015 :  8:11:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlene, both WSU and Lewiston have all the magnets and plungers (balling gun) you could ever want. I think there's a pic in my first post. I bought a box of magnets and a plunger from Lewiston. But I'm sure they're online as well.

It's easiest to do it while you have your cow in a head lock but if you have one person to help and just tie her up that works also. The magnet wants to fall out of the plunger while you're taking aim at her mouth so Shelly wraps a little piece of paper towel around the base of it first before putting the plunger down the throat and then ejecting the magnet (with paper towel:) Sometimes you don't get it down far enough and you can hear them clinking it around against their teeth before they spit it out. Pick it up, clean it off, try it again. I have everyone done now except a couple of my bulls.

http://www.animart.com/store/magnet-smooth-alnimax/
http://www.animart.com/store/balling-guns-cow-all-plastic/

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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chives

313 Posts
Victoria
Shelton WA
usa

Posted - Mar 11 2015 :  06:29:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I should of clarified myself when I said I was getting a big magnet. My neighbor bought one that you pull and it picks up everything on the ground.

A cow is the heart of a farm
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maryjane

6890 Posts


Posted - Mar 11 2015 :  07:17:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the idea of that, especially for those producing hay.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Sydney2015

1156 Posts


Posted - Mar 11 2015 :  08:16:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have one that you roll, a magnet. We used it when we had a tornado come through a few years ago, I haven't seen it since, but I know it's here somewhere.

A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing - Laura Ingalls Wilder

I live on a small farm of seventy acres called Green Forest Farm, with 10 horses, a donkey, 5 beef cows, 2 beef heifers, 3 Hereford heifers, around 60 chickens, 8 dogs, my amazing cow, AppleButter, and her little Jersey calf HoneyButter!
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