We attended UK Dairy Day on Wednesday 13th September, where Carolyn was calf painting in the external demonstration zone.
It was great to see so many farmers at UK Dairy Day. Carolyn and two final year vet students were busy in the calf rearing zone, demonstrating anatomical painting.
The Oesophageal Groove
One of the points for discussion was the oesophageal groove, a gutter lying on the inside wall of the rumen that closes into a tube when a calf drinks milk. This tube takes milk directly from the oesophagus into the abomasum, bypassing the rumen and reticulum. If the tube doesn’t close properly, milk gets into the rumen and ferments, which can cause indigestion, bloat and nutritional scour.
Warm milk and sucking from a teat rather than a bucket help stimulate the tube to close, whereas closure is inhibited by stress and irregular feeding patterns.