Why is this cow pressing her nose against the metal pipe?

Why is this cow pressing her nose against the metal pipe?

A few weeks ago we posted the blog 'Why is this cow biting the metal pipe?' CowSignals master trainer Birte Hoyer sended us a similar picture with a cow pressing her nose to a metal pipe.

In our previous blog we already shared some suggestions on what could be going on:
- stereotype behaviour, started out of boredom
- It's an accupunture point and the pressure there releases endorfine

What kind of suggestions do you have to add? Please share your thoughts!

Comments (16)

Philip Schultz

Could it be irritation in the nostril from dust or pollen or something in the TMR?

Raja

Cow loves soil mainly for zinc need
Cow must have got smell of it and loving doing this

Rob Davies

I saw a cow do this type of behaviour when she was tied up at a showground. She wouldn't drink water whilst she was there either. I thought she was doing this through fear or anxiety, because she did not show these signs at home.

Tim Gibson

We have a new herd of channel island cows which many of them are doing this and we do not know why. They seem to prefer iron work (not walls- maybe cooler?) and in a few rare cases we have seen a few have nose bleeds. I feel that it something to do with a deficiency / blood pressure?? - they seem happy and not stressed. Milking is fine, just some always seem to be nose pressing when you look around

Jo Vincent

Is she too hot? What was the temperature when this picture was taken?

Hans Hopster

Being a scientist that studied the behaviour of dairy cattle during 24hr behavioural obervations, I remember that nose-pressing a pole or the feedgate was shown by cows that were not able to lay down in a cubicle. I therefore think that this could either be a sign of frustration, deprivation from lying or a response similar to people leaning to a post when waiting at a station.

Kristina Aaes

It is called leaning.
It is to induce pain, and there by release endorphines. It is a sign of stress and unresolved needs. Maybe she is not able to lie down, because of overcrowding. Or eat for the same reason.

James Stewart

Have seen cows doing this while waiting to enter the parlour and also whilst resting in a cubicle. Sometimes lifting the upper and pressing the teeth/gums. Possibly toothache or inflammation of the gums? Usually it's the same few cows do it! Maybe I'm looking into it too much as she doesn't seem irritated at any other time

Birte Hoyer

Jo Vincent wrote:
Is she too hot? What was the temperature when this picture was taken?

Good question Vincent. But she was doing this everday day. So I guess Temperature is not the reason.

Birte Hoyer

Kristina Aaes wrote:
It is called leaning.
It is to induce pain, and there by release endorphines. It is a sign of stress and unresolved needs. Maybe she is not able to lie down, because of overcrowding. Or eat for the same reason.

I would have had the same thoughts but I now the farmer and the barn very well. There no overcrowdign. Feed is perfect and every cow has enough space to eat and lay down. The only thing which could be better is that they do not have deep and soft bedding. This problem is actually solved, because of a new buildt barn with deep soft bedding.

Walt Guterbock

Nervous ketosis can make cows chew on metal, but usually they look sick and the chewing is accompanied by a lot of salivation, and their behavior is strange in other ways. Head pressing can also be a sign of Listeriosis, but those cows are usually extremely dumb in behavior and often circle. Any change in cow behavior should make one think of rabies, too, but that is a remote possiblity.

Jersey cows just like to play with metal objects like gates and chains and will bang and chew on them all day long. Like tongue rolling, this could be interpreted by some as a sign of some kind of stress but I think it is just boredom and a Jersey habit.

Carsten Houmann

What you see here is "Mycosis"
Mycosis is a fungal infection of the animal.
This fungal infection starts often in the lungs and after a long latent periode it goes to the blood and the central nervesystem.
Caused the fungal infection the cows get an inflamation in the meninges(the membrane around the brain)
Mycosis comes very often from Aspergillus.
I have seen the symptoms in my own herd years ago.
The symptoms comes up after milking caused drops in bloodcalcium.
Threatment: Give calcium and magnesium in the blod to improve muscle function. This threatment also takes away the nervous symptoms.
The fungal inflamation must be threated by antibiotics.

Aaron de Vos

I was told once, it was a way of grounding herself against tingle voltage....we have this problem in North America....I don't think Europe has tingle voltage, for the hydro voltage is laid out differently

Lisa Mooney

I had this discussion at one of my sessions, attendees concluded that the cattle in the barn doing it were the cows in peak production and they were using it as a pressure point release, especially prior to milking when they were carrying a lot of milk. This was a tie stall barn with wooden posts and cows were doing it on the wooden posts and metal pipes. They also associated this back to when they bring cows to the show and they aren't milked at regular intervals. Most farmers there noticed this beahivour at the show.

Lisa Mooney

I had this discussion at one of my sessions, attendees concluded that the cattle in the barn doing it were the cows in peak production and they were using it as a pressure point release, especially prior to milking when they were carrying a lot of milk. This was a tie stall barn with wooden posts and cows were doing it on the wooden posts and metal pipes. They also associated this back to when they bring cows to the show and they aren't milked at regular intervals. Most farmers there noticed this beahivour at the show.

Anouk Brinkhoff

Great that we're getting so many reactions. Thanks to everyone!

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