Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How a Magnet Can Save a Cow's Life

This is a post glommed from my friend Nancy's blog. The Wife of a Dairyman

I'm pretty darn sure that 99% of you have never heard of what you are about to read.  There is also some info about a contest, but don't enter it. It's over! That's right people, it's over and I won!  But don't let that stop you from visiting Nancy's great blog. One day I hope to own and live on a small "hobby" farm myself. Nancy's isn't so little and it certainly isn't a hobby. But it is totally interesting.  Take a look see, you might agree.

Now I just have to decide which of my four stomachs to put these things in... I wonder if I'll have to use a "bolus" gun on myself?
How a Magnet Can Save a Cow's Life

Cow magnets. Not only are they used in a cow's stomach, I also find them scattered throughout my entire house because the Rugrats love playing with these magnets.

All of our dairy cows have a magnet in one of their four stomachs. Cows are ruminants. Most ruminants have four-chambered stomachs for digestion. When a cow eats her food and swallows, the food first goes into the large rumen where the food is softened. The rumen can hold up to 25-75 gallons.

Dominic places a magnet down the cow's throat with a bolus gun (used for pills) and the magnet eventually ends up in the stomach called the reticulum (the hardware stomach). If a cow happens to swallow a piece of metal such as a nail, a small piece of wire, a staple, etc. while eating, it ends up in the reticulum stomach. Over time the piece of metal can lodge into the honeycombed lining of the reticulum and will threaten the surrounding vital organs causing irritation and inflammation, known as Hardware Disease. It can also work it's way to the heart, killing the cow. By having a magnet in place in the reticulum, any metal the cow happens to swallow stays in the reticulum attracted to the magnet.

Magnets await insertion........

Dominic inserting a magnet into a heifer using a bolus gun.......


If you would like to WIN a set (2) of the magnets (kids LOVE them!), you must:

Become a Follower of this blog (if you haven't already) - on the column on the right, sign up under 'followers'
Leave a comment under this post telling me how you like to experiment with magnets.

I will randomly select a winner using on Monday morning. I will post the results on Monday as well!

And the Winner of the Cow Magnets is........
Congratulations to Patrick Tillet! Who has won the set of cow magnets!
Patrick, I need your mailing address, you can email me with it Please!


  1. I live in a large dairy county and I never heard of this, very intersting.

  2. AWESOME!!! Love to learn stuff like that. I only wish they taught cow culinary hazards in school with the 4 Rs.

  3. So don't keep me in suspense -- what's your experiment?

  4. Pat-

    I'd be honored.

    Thanks so much for the visit!!!

    I started following you as well!!

    I have enjoyed your comments for a long time. I can't believe it took me this long to get over!!!


  5. Thanks Robyn? LOL
    I wonder how many stomachs my cats have....

  6. Wow,that's so cool! This might come in handy some day,you never know..

  7. Something I wish I had as a kid, that's for sure!

  8. How could you NOT play with those for hours on end!!!????


    I've been around Cows, both Dairy and Meat--and this is the first I've heard of of this awesome disease! Talk about NOT wanting barbed wire fence around or in your Heart!!!!

    Great stuff!


  9. Interesting stuff here Pat,


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