Paul Larson: Let's debunk the myth of the cow's multiple stomach – The Courier Life News

How many stomachs does a cow have?

The trivia games all say there are four. The correct answer is, however, that a cow has one true stomach, the abomasum.

Paul Larson

Larson

A cow has three additional out-pockets of the esophagus — the rumen, reticulum and omasum. These three out-pockets of the esophagus are also termed “forestomachs.” Examine the walls of these structures under a microscope, and their esophageal cell origin is evident.

The gastrointestinal tract of a calf changes dramatically from a suckling newborn to a grain- and forage-consuming adolescent. In a newborn calf, the forestomach is very small, but it develops as the calf’s diet transitions from milk to grain and then forage.

Newborn calves, for the first several weeks of life, have a unique adaptation in the forestomachs called the esophageal groove. When a calf nurses milk, consequent neural stimulation signals muscles in the rumen and reticulum to contract and form a groove, a mini-canal, which funnels the milk directly to the true stomach, or abomasum. In essence, this temporary adaptation, makes a calf a monogastric animal like us, for the first few weeks of its life, allowing it to maximize the digestion of its all-milk diet.

If calves are allowed to drink too fast, milk escapes the esophageal groove and accumulates in the small rumen of the young calf. Unlike in the abomasum, where digestion begins after the milk proteins clot in the acid environment, milk that escapes to the rumen tends to ferment and produce volatile fatty acids. Too many of these and the calf can develop a sour stomach, with some shifts in normal gut bacterial populations.

There are several things we can do to prevent digestive problems in our young calves. First, if we slow down the flow of milk through the esophageal groove, we reduce the amount of milk that escapes into the rumen.

We accomplish this by feeding our pasteurized milk with special nipples on the milk bottles. It takes quite a bit longer for a calf to nurse the same volume of milk from these nipples than other rubber nipples or to drink it from a pail. We need to be diligent to replace worn out nipples, which allow calves to suckle too fast.

We need to follow an effective routine of feeding calves. This whole process stimulates the calves to be ready for their bottles of milk, and thereby stimulates proper closure of the esophageal groove. Following the same routine and schedule maximizes the milk that goes directly into the abomasum. Correct milk delivery temperature is important to the calf as well.

As calves begin to eat starter grain, the bacterial and protozoal populations of the rumen begin to change. The grapefruit-size rumen at birth responds to the volatile fatty acids, or VFAs, produced by the microflora which digest the grain, and it begins to grow both in size and in capacity to contract (to mix content); the rumen lining develops papilla for increased absorptive area.

Such rumen (and reticulo and omasal) development begins before a calf is weaned. It needs to be well in progress at weaning to support the calf’s digestion of grain and hay when no more milk is being fed.

Nature knows how best to deliver the milk directly to the abomasum in young calves, by way of the esophageal groove. As a calf begins to consume some grain, pieces of corn and soybean “drop” into the rumen. At first, they aren’t digested much there, and they pass along the GI tract rather undigested.

Soon enough, however, nature works it magic and the rumen develops, growing into a forestomach that occupies about half of a cow’s abdomen and allows her to make meat and milk from grasses and grains.

A mature bovine rumen will hold 50 to 60 gallons of forage, grain and water, and its microflora will digest feed to make VFAs and amino acids that, for the most part, pass along to the small intestines for absorption to the blood stream and delivery to muscles, brain, udder and other tissues.

How many stomachs does a cow have? One.

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In Japan, Doing More With Less Means Getting a Robot to Milk Your Cows – Wall Street Journal

Labor shortage and low productivity were threatening the future of the Kato farm, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. That was until the Kato family invested $2 million in robots that milk cows while offering them tasty treats. Photo/Video: Karan Deep Singh/WSJ

OBIHIRO, Japan—It’s milking time at the Kato farm, but when a Holstein ambles into the milking pen, nobody is there. A robot shoots out four arms and attaches a suction tube to each teat while she enjoys a tasty treat. Within 10 minutes, it is the next cow’s turn.

The Kato family invested about $2 million to build a shed that relies on a pair of $230,000 robots to milk some 90 cows and an $18,000 robot to help feed them. Here on the northern island of Hokkaido, whose flat farmlands laid out in neat grids resemble Wisconsin more than Japan’s main island, hundreds of the robots have been enlisted in recent years because human help is hard to find.

“We have to change the way we live and the way we work,” said

Kenichi Kato,

67 years old, who started his farm with three cows more than 40 years ago. “Some people may say that doesn’t apply to dairy farms, but we’ll never get anywhere that way. Young people won’t come.”

Getting robots to milk Elsie-san is the kind of investment that just might rescue Japan. The country is struggling to deal with its declining population, and there is a problem even with those who are still working: They are only about two-thirds as productive as Americans, on average, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Agriculture is at the bottom of the heap, with the average American farmer producing 40 times as much as the average Japanese farmer, according to Toyo University economist

Miho Takizawa.

Scale is a big reason. The average rice farm in Japan is just a few acres, whereas an American corn or wheat farmer can till thousands of acres with high-efficiency combines.

Now a labor crunch is forcing Japanese businesses of all sizes to step up capital spending on robots and other information technology to speed everyday tasks such as delivering packages and taking sushi orders at conveyer-belt restaurants.

If you ask Japanese companies what they are investing in, “it’s all IT capex—replacing humans with machines,” said

Goldman Sachs

strategist

Kathy Matsui.

A recent push by the government to restrict extreme working hours following a rash of suicides linked to overwork has added to the pressure. “If you’re going to maintain output, you’ve got to boost productivity,” Ms. Matsui said.

The Bank of Japan says labor productivity is improving thanks in part to companies’ software investment, which has risen the past two years and is expected to rise 8.1% in the current fiscal year.

Dairy farmers have long relied on milking machines, but even that requires a lot of work by hand. At an older cow shed on the Kato family farm, someone has to hook up the machine to each teat.

Fully robotic milkers first took hold in Europe in the 1990s. The number of the robots used in Japan has doubled in the past two or three years to more than 500, according to

Masao Nishimura

of Hokkaido’s Cornes Ag. Corp., which imports the machine used by Mr. Kato, made by Dutch manufacturer

Lely International

NV.

One reason for the increase: Farmers who are trying to get bigger and more efficient can tap government funds for up to half the price of a robot milker.

The milking robot is the size of a small truck. Before milking, a unit extends under the cow and cleans her udder; tubes carry the milk to a refrigerator. The machine also checks the cow’s identity from tags on her ears and stores data on each cow’s production.

The milking robot at work. ‘We were able to decrease the work force and drastically increase productivity,’ Kenichi Kato says.
The milking robot at work. ‘We were able to decrease the work force and drastically increase productivity,’ Kenichi Kato says.
Photo:

KARAN DEEP SINGH/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Katos also bought an R2-D2-sized robot that rolls up and down the shed every two hours pushing feed closer to the cows’ enclosure so they can keep munching.

The family now has about twice as many cows producing milk without having to add any people.

Mr. Kato’s son Masaharu said he was working from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day before introducing the robot shed four years ago. Now the cows in the robot shed require only about three or four hours a day of care, and he can head home around 6:30 or 7 p.m., giving him more time at night with his five children.

Robot labor has also enabled the family to branch out beyond milk. Masaharu’s younger sister, Yoshie, makes cheese sold under the Kato name at a handful of shops in Hokkaido, including at the Sapporo airport.

“Installing the robot made more time for me, so I was able to focus on dairy products and cheese production,” she said. She borrows space in a cheese-making plant rented from the city, but in a year she hopes to open her own factory on the Kato homestead where she can produce cheese, butter and other dairy products with milk from the Katos’ cows.

Kenichi Kato, 67 years old, started his dairy farm more than 40 years ago.
Kenichi Kato, 67 years old, started his dairy farm more than 40 years ago.
Photo:

KARAN DEEP SINGH/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“We want to automate whatever we can in the new factory,” she said. Still, for final quality control, “it has to be a human who tastes it and smells it and looks at it.”

Other Japanese companies are experimenting with automating jobs previously thought to require the human touch. Convenience store chain

Lawson Inc.

in late April began a trial at three Tokyo stores in which customers can scan their own items and pay with a smartphone—similar to supermarkets with self-checkout but eliminating the need to stand in line.

There is still a long way to go for many Japanese service industries or farms to reach U.S. levels of productivity, and the declining population of places like Hokkaido can make the problem worse. In 2016, the local rail company reported that about one-eighth of its stations, 58 in total, had one passenger or less a day. Many remain open today because it takes time to get people to accept the closure of their local stations, said a spokesman for the company, JR Hokkaido.

For the Katos, who also grow corn and other crops on their 210 acres, using machines wisely is the key to keeping the farm going in future generations.

“I feel that people in the future will stop doing jobs that require work from morning till night, 365 days,” said Kenichi Kato. “A job with some breathing room allows for family love and family time.”

Related

  • Working at 85: The Idea of Retirement Is Dying in Japan (July 2, 2017)
  • Japan, Which Invented Workaholics, Tells Employees: Go Home Already! (Nov. 3, 2017)
  • The New Robot Revolution in Manufacturing (Feb. 1, 2018)
  • To Make People Work Better With Robots, Make the Robots Imperfect (Oct. 29, 2017)

Write to Peter Landers at peter.landers@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
A milking robot attaches a suction tube to each teat of a cow. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said it attaches one to each udder. (May 6, 2018)

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Albino cow steals hearts of Wisconsin farmers – KARE11.com

SPRING VALLEY, Wis. – The sun’s out and this means it’s time for people to whip out the sunscreen. There’s nothing like a good dose of SPF to protect your skin from the UV rays.

Just like people, Al, a Spring Valley calf needs a little SPF, as well. That’s because Al — short for Al Bundy — is an albino calf.

Owners Tina and Mitch Vanasse said Al was born during the spring snowstorm in mid-April. Tina was doing the rounds checking on the cows when she said she saw a strange clump of snow. That “clump” turned out to be Al, curled up into a little ball.

A rare, albino cow at a farm in Wisconsin.

Sharon Yoo, KARE

“Well, what I thought was a clump of snow,” Tina Vanasse said with a laugh. “As I got closer, turned out it was a calf. It kind of turned and looked at me.”

That’s when she saw his non-pigmented eyes, pink eyelids and equally pink nose. That was the moment Al captured the Vanasses’ hearts.

After his birth, Tina said she did some research on albinism in cows. She even said she called up a University of Minnesota professor.

“He said he didn’t have much for statistics but it was very odd or rare to get that,” Tina said.

Mitch explained that they like breeding cows for their different color outcomes. Al’s father is a Hereford bull and his mother is a Shorthorn. Neither one of them is white.

Both Tina and Mitch explained that small surprises like these help their joy and love for farming grow.

They are beef cattle farmers, but they said they probably will keep Al as a part of the family forever.

“I don’t know if I have the heart to get rid of him after he’s kind of made a rock star out of himself,” Mitch said.

The two said they don’t really know what to do with Al’s fame.

“I told my dad for all the notoriety he’s getting, we might have to show him at the fair,” Mitch said.

© 2018 KARE

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Will Apple Be A New Cash Cow For Berkshire Hathaway? – Forbes

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Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

For years, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was after companies with sustainable competitive advantage—companies that had built “moats,” barriers to keep the competition off their highly profitable businesses.

In recent years, Berkshire Hathaway seems to have augmented this strategy by including companies that have turned into ATM machines, or cash cows, dispensing billions of dollars to stockholders in the form of hefty dividends and stock buybacks.

IBM was one of those companies. Back in 2011, Berkshire Hathaway poured billions of dollars into the legendary company, which had been pursuing shareholder friendly policies like share buybacks and hefty dividend payouts.

The trouble is that those policies weren’t sufficient to deliver superior stockholder returns, for a simple reason: the company failed to sustain its competitive advantage and return back to its old high sales and high-margin growth days.

That’s why IBM missed the big high-tech rally of the last five years.

Apparently, betting on IBM wasn’t a terribly good idea for Warren Buffett. And it could explain why Berkshire Hathaway is dropping IBM altogether for another Cash Cow — Apple.

Unlike IBM, Apple’s shareholder friendly policies have been delivering superior results, as the company continues to enjoy sustainable competitive advantage that delivers high operating margins and strong sales growth—see tables.

Apple’s Key Financial Metrics as of May 4, 2018

Forward PE 13.93
Operating Margin 26.87%
Qtrly Revenue Growth (yoy) 12.70%
Qtrly Earnings Growth (yoy) 12.20%

Source: Finance.yahoo.com

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Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

For years, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was after companies with sustainable competitive advantage—companies that had built “moats,” barriers to keep the competition off their highly profitable businesses.

In recent years, Berkshire Hathaway seems to have augmented this strategy by including companies that have turned into ATM machines, or cash cows, dispensing billions of dollars to stockholders in the form of hefty dividends and stock buybacks.

IBM was one of those companies. Back in 2011, Berkshire Hathaway poured billions of dollars into the legendary company, which had been pursuing shareholder friendly policies like share buybacks and hefty dividend payouts.

The trouble is that those policies weren’t sufficient to deliver superior stockholder returns, for a simple reason: the company failed to sustain its competitive advantage and return back to its old high sales and high-margin growth days.

That’s why IBM missed the big high-tech rally of the last five years.

Apparently, betting on IBM wasn’t a terribly good idea for Warren Buffett. And it could explain why Berkshire Hathaway is dropping IBM altogether for another Cash Cow — Apple.

Unlike IBM, Apple’s shareholder friendly policies have been delivering superior results, as the company continues to enjoy sustainable competitive advantage that delivers high operating margins and strong sales growth—see tables.

Apple’s Key Financial Metrics as of May 4, 2018

Forward PE 13.93
Operating Margin 26.87%
Qtrly Revenue Growth (yoy) 12.70%
Qtrly Earnings Growth (yoy) 12.20%

Source: Finance.yahoo.com

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Watch: Officer's close encounter with angry cow while assisting a motorist – Farm Ireland

A Harris County deputy was patrolling the roads when he stopped to assist motorists involved in an apparent traffic accident. Footage shows a cow then running towards the police vehicle.

The cow was seen charging at the deputies, who quickly moved out of the way to avoid the animal before it ran away.

The footage now has 21,000 views on the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton Facebook page.

Police said: “During the regular eight-hour shift we encounter the good, the bad, and the big.

“We can handle criminals with no problem, but when it comes to livestock… it’s no bull!”

Officers reassured the public that no animals, humans or patrol cars were harmed in the encounter.

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Judge clears way for unloved Markham cow statue to be removed – Toronto Star

Goodbye, sweet Charity.

After months of udder confusion and indecision, a Toronto judge put a swift end to Markham’s ongoing cow statue debacle this week after he dismissed a motion by the developer for an injunction to prevent the sculpture from being moved.

“The residents of Markham do not want the gift that the plaintiff wishes to give them,” Superior Court Justice Andras Schreck said in his decision Wednesday. “I am not satisfied that forcing them to accept the unwanted gift by granting an injunction is required to preserve the plaintiff’s rights or to prevent irreparable harm,” he said.

Last week, Markham council passed a motion to have Charity removed within 10 days, after residents said a sharp leaf from around her neck fell on the ground. Further examination of the sculpture by an engineer found there was “insufficient welding attaching 20 to 25% of the leaves to the rest of the sculpture and that there was a risk that those leaves would fall,” Schreck said.

But on Tuesday, lawyers for the developer Helen Roman-Barber and her company Romandale Farms Ltd. were in court arguing that moving the 25-foot high stainless steel statue on stilts, called “Charity: Perpetuation of Perfection,” would cause it “irreparable” harm. They also argued that Markham breached the “artwork donation agreement” when it reneged on its decision to keep Charity at the current location on Charity Cres., in the community of Cathedraltown at Elgin Mills Rd. and Major Mackenzie Dr.

Romandale Farms also filed a lawsuit seeking $3 million from the City of Markham, or a lesser amount of $1 million if the city also declares that it never acquired ownership of the statue, and if it returns it to the developer at a time and place determined Roman-Barber, at the city’s own risk and expense.

Roman-Barber is fighting to keep the memorial on the crescent as a tribute to her late father who owned a part share in Charity, a famous show cow, and the farm the subdivision now sits on. But since it was installed last year, residents have complained that the statue is too close to their homes, and was installed without consultation and notice to them.

In a statement, the city of Markham said following the court’s decision, the “donor has agreed to accept the return of the sculpture to the Donor. The City of Markham is working on removing the sculpture as soon as reasonably possible with the assistance of a contractor.

“The City will arrange for security personnel and by-law patrols to ensure the safety of residents and workers. The City of Markham has not yet confirmed when this work will take place.”

In his decision, Schreck commended Roman-Barber for her donation but said her will could not trump the desire of residents.

“The residents of Markham have stated, through their elected representatives, that they do not want the gift that Romandale wishes to bestow on them. A true philanthropist respects the wishes of those he or she wishes to benefit,” he said. “The balance of convenience does not favour allowing Romandale to continue to try to impose on the residents of the City a gift they do not want.”

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Woman suffocates under pile of cow dung to 'treat' snake bite – New York Post

A wife suffocated under a pile of cow dung after being told it would cure her snake bite.

Mother of five, Devendri, 35, from a village in Bulandshahr, northern India, was out getting some wood to burn for cooking when a snake bit her on her hand.

She ran home to inform her husband, Mukesh, and they quickly decided to call the local snake charmer.

The local snake charmer, Murarey, advised Mukesh to cover his wife in cow dung, suggesting it would suck out the poison.

People gathered outside the house and watched as Devendri lay outside as Mukesh buried her in cow dung and the snake charmer sat beside her and chanted mantras.

But after 75 minutes Devendri sadly died.

Supplied by Cover Asia Press

Mukesh said: “My wife went out to get firewood and when she was collecting the wood a snake bit her. We tried some medicines, a grinded powder and tied a rope around her arm. But the snake charmer advised us to cover her in cow dung, so we did.”

“The snake charmer was confident he could help. We left her in the cow dung for 75 minutes. I never thought she would die, I really thought she’d survive and it’d work. I never thought this would happen.”

The snake charmer, Murarey, was filmed and said: “I’m known in this area to treat animal bites. I think the snake was a cobra. And yes, she died because she was buried.”

Supplied by Cover Asia Press

Mukesh is now left to raise five children alone.

He is completely baffled the burial method did not work on saving his wife.

Station house officer Anand Veer, at Kakod Police Station, said: “We are not aware of this incident at the station. No one has reported anything or lodged a complaint.”

Supplied by Cover Asia Press

Superstition is India is considered a widespread social problem and usually attributed to a lack of education in rural parts of the country.

Beliefs and practices vary from region to region, with many regions having their own specific traditions and superstitions.

Many beliefs are centuries old and are considered part of tradition and religion, as a result; any introduction of new prohibitory laws often face opposition.

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Dashcam footage shows close encounter between police car and cow – Independent.ie

A Harris County deputy was patrolling the roads when he stopped to assist motorists involved in an apparent traffic accident. Footage shows a cow then running towards the police vehicle.

The cow was seen charging at the deputies, who quickly moved out of the way to avoid the animal before it ran away.

During the regular 8 hour shift we encounter the good, the bad, and the big. We can handle criminals with no problem,…

Posted by Harris County Constable Pct. 3 – Constable Sherman Eagleton on Friday, April 27, 2018

The footage now has 21,000 views on the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton Facebook page.

Police said: “During the regular eight-hour shift we encounter the good, the bad, and the big.

“We can handle criminals with no problem, but when it comes to livestock… it’s no bull!”

Officers reassured the public that no animals, humans or patrol cars were harmed in the encounter.

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Mooooove! Cow chases cop – Sky News

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Sky News

Mooooove! Cow chases cop
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Mooooove! Cow chases cop. 14:23, UK, Monday 30 April 2018. A Texas deputy constable probably wasn't expecting to have to dodge an angry cow. Video: A Texas deputy constable probably wasn't expecting to have to dodge an angry cow when he arrived at the

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Schumer: Eliminate trade barriers on dairy exports – Glens Falls Post-Star

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer wants trade officials to persuade Canada to eliminate trade barriers on dairy exports while renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

North Country farmers and lawmakers have argued that Canadian policies on U.S. dairy products, including its 270 percent tariff on fluid milk, have inhibited the ability to sell goods across the border and deal with the oversupply of milk. Excess milk in national and international markets have caused Northeast prices to remain low in recent years.

In order to improve dairy farmers’ ability to sell to Canada, Sen. Schumer, D-N.Y.; House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., urged President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other representatives to strike a deal with Canada that will terminate its high tariffs and other barriers.

“With Speaker Ryan’s and Senator Baldwin’s help, we now have a real opportunity to churn the tide and hopefully fix the unfair Canadian dairy trade barriers that have plagued dairy farmers and producers from the Finger-Lakes to Central New York to Wisconsin,” Sen. Schumer said in a statement.

The bipartisan effort from lawmakers also advocates an increase in U.S. farmers’ ability to export nonfat dry milk to Canadian markets.

Ronald C. Robbins, owner of North Harbor Dairy in Hounsfield, said Canada established Class 7 pricing for milk powder in 2016, which established “substantial” tariffs on exports of it and allowed Canadian producers to sell it cheaper than other countries.

The new pricing system, which wasn’t accounted for in NAFTA, not only affected earnings from milk powder, but all milk products, Mr. Robbins said. U.S. milk prices are based on concentrations of fat, protein and other contents, and Mr. Robbins said the influx of milk powder, or milk protein concentrate, reduced the protein value and overall value of their milk.

“They’re basically dumping (milk powder) on the world market,” Mr. Robbins said.

Producers in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Europe have increased their milk production in recent years to satisfy the growing demand for ice cream, butter and other products that require milk with higher concentrations of butterfat, said Andrew M. Novakovic, a professor of agriculture economics at Cornell University, Ithaca.

These countries, however, have struggled to find to find homes for the milk protein they produced during this effort, Mr. Novakovic said. Canadian producers remedy was to sell its milk protein products at significantly lower prices in the international market, which inhibited producers from other countries.

“It was about the price of protein that got Schumer and Ryan worked up,” he said.

Both Mr. Robbins and Carthage farmer John D. Peck said they felt Canada has “taken advantage of” its trade relationship with U.S. dairy producers and supported the recent push from Mr. Ryan and Sens. Schumer and Baldwin.

“Hopefully, this will draw enough attention so trade negotiators can give us some long-term benefit,” Mr. Robbins said. “It’s a big piece of our future.”

Mr. Peck, who owns Peck Homestead Farm, said modifications for the three-decade-old trade agreement are “way overdue,” because it fails to account for advancements in milk processing and technology.

A revised agreement could provide a “fair footing” for U.S. farmers, Mr. Peck said, particularly by addressing the Class 7 pricing for milk powder.

“The milk has gone sour in NAFTA and we need to make it fresh again,” he said.

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