With some practice, it is easy to identify a healthy dairy cow. Here are some signs to look for in a healthy cow:
1) General appearance
3) Eyes & Ears
4) Breathing and pulse
The animal should have smooth and regular breathing at rest.
Activity or hot weather will increase the breathing rate.
The cow's pulse can be felt on the tail and short distance below the base.
Measure the pulse by holding the tail lightly with thumb and forefinger.
Normal rate of pulse should be 40 - 80 beats/min in adult animal and slightly higher in young animals.
The dung of an healthy animal is soft.
If the dung is watery, means the cow is experiencing diarrhoea.
If the cow is having difficulty defecating, means there are signs of illness.
Urine should be clear and the cow should be able to urine with no sign of pain.
6) Appetite and rumination
Cow should be able to eat and drink normally.
If feed is available, it will have a full belly.
When healthy cows are at rest, they will be ruminating.
If the animal is showing signs of no appetite, it means that there could be signs of ill health.
There should be no swelling of the udder and no pain when it is touched.
Sudden decrease in milk production is a sign of unwell cow.
Blood in milk signals udder infection.
8) Body temperature