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cow with hole in side

while driving around cal poly's dairy unit, i saw some cows with holes in their sides. i thought, "what the heck?" and came home to google.

 

from google: some cows are rumen cannulated or rumen fistulated. this "hole" in the cow's side goes directly into the rumen, where a major part of digestion happens. these cows are used for nutrition studies that make them healthier and help increase their milk production. the surgery to cannulate the cow is done under anesthesia. once the surgery site is fully healed (usually within two weeks) the cow is not bothered by the cannula and is returned to the regular herd.

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Taken on July 12, 2013