Cleaning a cow in the proper way can keep the animal look and feel fresh. Cleaning also help to prevent external parasites. You may also need to clean your cow to show it off at your local county fair or other occasions. And you need to clean your cows more often especially if you have dairy cows. You can integrate a spraying system for cleaning a cow once a day or so. Along with cleaning the body, you should also provide a footbath for better health of the cow’s hooves. However, here we are describing more about the process of cleaning a cow.
Add Sprinkler in a Pre-milking Wash Pen
You can construct a pre-milking wash pen with sprinklers for cleaning multiple cows. In this system, install sprinklers all along the pen you hold the cows in before milking. Using concrete for the floor will be good. It will help to keep the floor dry quickly and you will not have a constantly muddy area. You should spray sprinklers both up and down to wash the cows thoroughly.
Add a sprinkler to a Chute
You can add a sprinkler system to a chute for spraying individual cows. Set up the footbath in a chute system so that cows must walk through the footbath and then the spray system. And the system should have sprinklers that spray from all angles for cleaning the cow.
Scrubbing Down a Cow
Secure the Cow
First of all, secure a cow outside with a halter or rope tied to the collar for cleaning a cow in this system. Tie the cow to a fence if possible, or tie it to the side of a building and not in a single post. Doing so will ensure the cow can’t walk in circles or get tangled in the rope. Using a cow-washing chute is also a good option. The chute holds the cow’s head in place, leaving you room for washing it’s body.
Clean the Cows in a Warm Day
Sometimes a cow can react if you clean it with cold water. So for cleaning a cow, you should select a warm day. Warm day also helps air dry the cow’s fur afterwards, and they will be more willing to have a bath if it’s warmer outside.
Use a comb or grooming brush for cleaning out the loose hair and dirt. Brush the cow focusing on particularly dirty areas, starting with the back. You can apply pressure for pulling the hair and dirt out. Brush the whole cow, including the stomach and legs. Follow the grain of the hair so you don’t agitate the cow. Before brushing, hose the cow down from top to bottom with a water hose, starting on the back and moving down the body.
Use Soap or Shampoo
You can use cow shampoo or soap for cleaning a cow. Rub the soap in with a scrub brush using a circular motion. And in case of using shampoo, pour the shampoo on the cow from the bottle in ropes, covering most of the cow’s back in stripes of shampoo.
Scrub the Cow
Use a scrub brush and scrub the cow down thoroughly. Scrub brush is helpful for scrubbing out the dirt, starting with the back of the head. Then move down the neck and back, and then get the stomach and legs (work the soap down as you go). Brush straight down from top to bottom when you are done scrubbing.
Rinse and Dry the Cow
Rinse the cow with clean water from the hose. Spray the cow down with water, starting as the back of the head. Work down the neck and back, spraying all the soap from the top of the cow before moving downward. Hose of the belly and the legs also. Run your hand down the cow to ensure the soap is out as you spray. At the end, use a gentle spray on the face. You can hold the cow’s head in place by grabbing the halter.
After cleaning a cow, squeegee the water out and dry the cow. You can just let the cow air dry in the sun.
Footbath is used for cleaning the hooves of the cows. You can choose either plastic or metal for your footbath, and it should be at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Using two bath system is most effective, the first one should contain plain water and the second one should contain the solution you use.
You should place the footbath in an area the cows must walk through. And it should be placed in such a place or area that the cows are forced through at least several times a week or even every day. Remember, you don’t need to actively wash your cow’s feet. Rather they just need to walk through the solution.
The solutions which are used for footbach are different on each farm. But one common one is copper sulfate. Organic acids and formalin are other common ingredients used in the solution. Change the solution from the footbath when it starts to look murky.
These are the common ways of cleaning a cow. Cleaning cows on a regular basis is very helpful for keeping the cow look and feel fresh. Good luck!