What are cow magnets

Kyle from our pen pal class asked:

Do you use cow magnets?

Can you use cow magnets and still be organic? Great question Kyle!

What are cow magnets?

You might be asking yourself what a cow magnet is. A cow magnet is a large magnet that cows swallow to prevent hardware disease.

Cow magnets

What is Hardware Disease?

Hardware disease is the common term for bovine traumatic reticuloperitonitis. Huh? Cows don’t use their lips to discriminate between materials when they are eating. As they are eating they may also pick up small nails, pieces of wire or other metal and sharp objects. Since metal is heavy, it drops in the first compartment of stomach, called the reticulum. Magnets are also heavy and will stay in that first compartment for life hopefully picking up any dangerous peices of metal and protecting the cow from harm.

We give our cows magnets to prevent the disease or treat it if hardware is suspected.

cow magnet and wire

 This wire killed one of our cows. 

Can organic farms use cow magnets?

So to answer Kyle’s original question: Yes, we can use cow magnets and still be considered organic, in fact, they are one of the many preventable measures we take to keep our cows healthy and organic.

 cow magnet

We got this magnet back when we did an autopsy with our veterinarian.

Last week I answered out pen pal question “Do farmers take vacations?” 

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