Caring for cows is relatively easy, but there are a few health problems from which cows can suffer. One of the most common of these conditions is bloat.
What is Bloat?
Bloat is a serious condition that is usually caused by overeating grain or grazing from a particularly lush pasture. The first obvious sign of bloat is a distension of the area beside the hip bone on the left side of the cow, an area known as the rumen. The cow may also experience labored breathing and may exhibit signs of discomfort, including grinding teeth, kicking, bawling, groaning and salivating profusely.
How Can I Avoid Bloat?
To avoid bloat, you should acclimate your cows to a new pasture slowly. First, you should bring some of the pasture to them for a few days. Then, turn them out to the new pasture for only a few hours per day during the first week. In most cases, you should be able to set your cows out to pasture fully the following week. You should keep this same advice in mind any time you are starting a new diet with your cows.
If you see any evidence of bloat in your cows, you should consider it to be an emergency situation and you should contact your vet immediately.