Lost Tassels on Tails

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inyati13

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Remember the picture of a tail I thought got frozen off. Aaron made a good suggestion that it probably got stepped on.
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Well, I have noticed 3 cows with all or part of their tassels missing. I had seen it before and just thought the hair had shed out. I looked at the tip of the tail on each and there is a couple caudal vertebra showing where the tassel has slipped off the bone.

Here is what I think has happened: The cows lay on the surface of the hay put down area in the winter. The surface is almost like concrete now where the mine waste limerock has set-up. We had a series of storms starting in Mid January and continuing into March. The storms started with rain, the rain turned into an ice storm, and ended in snow and blowing bitter cold with wind chills well below Zero. The tail gets in the water then the ice. It becomes frozen to the hard solid surface. The cows and calves stay down until the tassel is solidly cemented by ice to the surface. When they get up, it pulls the tassel off the tip of their tail.
 

pdfangus

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I saw one of my cows do it one time.....she stood up and the end of her tail, frozen to the ground just stayed where it was.....
 

Putangitangi

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I think you're right, Ron. I had one cow like that and it took me years to work out what had happened to her, until one day I found a tail switch in the mud somewhere the cows and calves used to sit when she was small. Her mother had probably trodden on it when she was getting up and it ripped off. The switch had about four or five vertebrae in it. Her tail switch was really sparse, with only a few white hairs in the centre, with a few long black around the edges where the top of the proper hair remained. I think the old cow was pretty careless, another of her daughters having a break right up high near her vulva.
 
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inyati13

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I don't expect these tassels to grow back. I trim the tassels on my cows before winter to keep the mud down. I take a big pair of scissors and cut the last 3 or 4 inches of the tassel off to keep it out of mud and manure. I guess these cows will need a some extra fly control put on!
 

cowgirl8

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Ouch, poor cows. Maybe you can come up with a prosthetic tassel to keep flies off. Ive always felt sorry for cows with no tail.
 

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