Throughout our daily routines, we have come across some great products. Some of these products are common, some unique, some new on the market and some old fashioned, but they are all things that we love.
We are all familiar with dealing with stress and how it can affect our physical bodies as well as our state of mind. Cows can become just as stressed as people, but they can't talk about their feelings or tell us what is bothering them. As a farmer, you have to know your cattle and be able to predict stressful situations as well as identify the physical ramifications of that stress.
Stress can be brought on by many different things. Calving, weaning, being transported, being moved to a different herd or group of cows, isolation, new feed or feeding routine or any new situation that they are not familiar with.
Cows show symptoms of stress in many different ways. Some of the most common symptoms are loss of appetites, not drinking, isolating themselves from the rest of the herd, fever, loss of weight and conditioning and an overall lethargic demeanor. Some cows are very easy going and change does not bother them. Other cows will become stressed at the smallest change.
When Six arrived here from Washington, she was extremely stressed. Not only had she been removed from her herd, she was isolated and transported across the country. When she arrived here in Ohio, she had a fever, wouldn't eat or drink and lost weight very quickly. After ruling out any illnesses or infections, the vet determined that it was all due to stress.
We put a Vita Charge stress tub in her stall and she immediately went to town on it. It was her turning point. The stress tub is just a combination of Amaferm, minerals and vitamins, but it stimulates appetite and the immune system. Keeping your cows' digestive system functioning properly is the first step to maintaining a healthy herd.
Vita Charge can be pricey, but we have noticed such an improvement in our cows, that we have decided that it is a must in our regimen. Each tub weighs 50 pounds, so be sure to have your strapping young farmer along to help with loading. The tubs do last a really long time. We usually keep a tub in each show cow's stall for them to lick on free choice. Some days they ignore it and other days they can't get enough of it.
A stress tub always travels with us to a show. By this time of year, our cows are pretty used to the show routine, but you just never know when something is going to stress them more than usual. It is always better to have a stress tub that isn't used than to need one and not have it with you. Since they weigh so much, we usually keep a partial tub available for transporting to the shows. Why lug 50 pounds around when you can lug only 20 pounds? I may need to work out more...but not today.
As an added bonus...the empty tubs make great feed tubs.
We all know the feeling of having our stomach in knots over some stressful situation. Some people eat ice cream when they are stressed (that would be me) and some people just quit eating when they are stressed. Cows have physical symptoms of stress just like we do.
What is the first thing that you do when the kids come home from school and say that someone in their class is sick? You grab the vitamins, orange juice and Airborne to help fight off any bugs. We can do the exact same thing with Vita Charge stress tubs for our cows. Adding vitamins and minerals to boost their immune system as well as keeping their gut healthy and active goes a long way in keeping your cows healthy.
Farming is a stressful job, but happy cows equals happy farmers.
All of these opinions are our own. We have not been compensated in any way by these products or companies.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.