practical farming solutions… #8

…in Southern Norway…

protecting sensitive cow-skin against the sun…

Light skin-color generally means more sensitive skin, and cows may experience sunburn on light-colored parts of their body that have little to almost no fur-cover in the warm summer-months. Especially the naturally enlarged udder around calving-time and early in lactation, is exposed.

Fur-growth on the sides of a large udder is also somewhat inhibited by the udder being constantly rubbed against the inside of the cow's hind legs while she walks around on those pastures. This rubbing itself makes the skin even more sensitive, so clearly it can become quite uncomfortable for some of our cows after a while.

Our cows work hard enough as it is, so of course we try to make their life as comfortable as we can. This of course also pays off in more relaxed animals that are easier to handle. A cow's immediate reaction to soreness and pain around her udder and tits is to kick with her hind legs, and that can have disastrous effects on anyone near by – for instance during milking.

There are sun-lotions, and they generally work well on cows too. Such lotions don't last long though, and many tend to do matters worse regarding the rubbing-effect. We can't go out on the pastures to add sun-lotion to exposed body-parts every two hours – it'll be time-consuming and cows may not cooperate anyway. Thus, we had to find a better solution to protect our cows.

high sunfactor for “little blue”…

Generally any layer that prevents the harmful sun-rays from getting through to the skin, would have a positive effect.
Animals in the wild use mud and dust to the same effect, but that's not the most practical solution on a dairy farm. Hygiene is an important factor in dairy farming you know, so we can't have dirty cows.

We have found the blue-colored spray many farmers use as disinfectant on wounds and scratches on cows, to be quite effective as sun-protection, and its effect lasts considerably longer than a few hours. Two to three days protection is more like it, and it is easy to see where and when it wears off so we can add some more.

It is of course easiest to apply blue-spray right after milking – definitely not before since we don't want artificially colored milk, and since the blue-spray formula is especially developed for use on sore skin and wounds it can be applied without restrictions.
Once a cow have felt the effect of this pretty efficient sun-protection for a day or two, she is more than willing to let us add some more as it wears off.

What we get is one or two “little blue” walking happily around in the sunshine on lush pastures and in and out for milking for a few weeks. The artificial protection further growth of the thin fur-cover that is nature's own protection against all kinds of weather-impact and wear and tear on a cow's skin, so after a while she's in no need of treatment.

comments on treating wounds…

Note that we do not often use this blue-spray for treating regular wounds, simply because it isn't very effective and tends to prevent healing more than further it. In our opinion products like 'DeLaval blue spray' is no good for treating anything but the most superficial wounds – the type of wounds that are best left untreated on free-ranged cows that are less exposed to germs and subsequent infections.

For regular skin-wounds we always use 'Aloe Vera Veterinary' formula, which has proven itself to be the ideal stuff to spray on any type of wounds as first treatment, and which usually makes even quite bad-looking skin-wounds heal completely in days.

For optimal sun-protection we often spray on some of the completely color-less 'Aloe Vera Veterinary' first, and then a layer of blue-spray on top of that a few minutes later when the aloe has dried in. This two-stage operation combines the healing-effect of the aloe with the sun-protection of the blue-spray, for best overall effect.

So, blue-spray is only useful as sun-protection, and if nothing else it does come with a pretty high sun-factor.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 10.sep.2008
last rev: 10.sep.2008

practical farming solutions…

…blue-spray is only useful as sun-protection, and if nothing else it does come with a pretty high sun-factor.
— Georg