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Inflating a cow`s udder

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957869.  Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:41 pm Reply with quote

Phil Jupitus made a joke about this in the episode shown 21/12/12- but actually this was something that used to be done.
Not I hasten to explain , in order to help cows float , but to treat " milk fever" or hypocalcaemia.

Older cows at calving are less able to mobilise calcium from their bones ,when they are near calving or just after calving.
Low blood calcium causes the cow to lose muscle function , and they become recumbant and will die if not treated. Nowadays they are given intra-veinous Ca, but pre-war the treatment was to pump up the udder ( through the teat canal) with air , to create a back pressure, which inhibited more milk secretion , and gave time for the blood calcium level to rebalance.
I have never seen it done but have heard it described by an old cowman. Not sure it worked all that well- and apparantly it took a while to get the air back out!

957870.  Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:43 pm Reply with quote

NB a cow has one udder and four teats, people often refer to a cow`s "udders" in the plural which is all wrong.

957906.  Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:51 am Reply with quote

Hi, welcome and thanks, sir cowman.

Much appreciated teat-bit.

957957.  Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:03 am Reply with quote

This just kicked off a memory from some 20 years ago when I was helping on a farm and the farmer was explaining that the udder is a single "sack", but that there is an upper and lower part of the udder, with each having a pair of teats, and that internally it's a pair of udders, encased by one "sack".

Whether true, or a pair of bullocks, I don't know, but I hadn't remembered that for years :)

958047.  Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:14 pm Reply with quote

Welcome to QI ayrshire-cowman :-)

It's always good to hear information straight from, erm, the horse's mouth, or in this case the udder end.

958062.  Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:04 pm Reply with quote

All knowing Wiki wrote:
The udder is a single mass hanging beneath the animal, consisting of pairs of mammary glands. In cattle there are normally two pairs, in sheep, goats and deer there is one pair, and in some animals such as pigs there are many pairs.


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