According to Dinesh Ramde of the Associated Press, some dairy farmers are turning to unconventional methods of care for their cows. One of these methods is chiropractic care.
Cows can suffer spinal or joint injuries just like people, and when a cow is injured, it has a harder time making its way through the other cows to its food, which results in lower milk production.
“It’s kind of like how an athlete with a sprained ankle isn’t as productive,” said Larry Meyer, 36, whose parents own a dairy farm in Chilton, Wisconsin. “If you can get a cow healthy and back to normal, it makes a difference in their productivity.”
Many farmers believe that happy cows produce more milk, and providing chiropractic care to injured cows is a great treatment option because it can alleviate pain and provide treatment without the use of painkillers.
Another way that farmers have found to keep cows happy is by providing waterbeds for them to rest on.
One dairy farmer, Richard Conrad from Grafton, Ohio, says that after making several improvements to his barn a year ago, including installing waterbeds and improving ventilation, his cows are now producing up to 10 pounds more milk per cow per day.
While there is no scientific evidence proving that chiropractic care or waterbeds actually work to keep cows happier and more productive, many farmers have seen positive results with the use of these methods.