Dairy Herd Management
How efficient is your nutrition program?
Look at your 2008 expense sheet predictions, and you may get an uneasy feeling in your gut. Considering the high cost of protein, forage, fuel and fertilizer, growing and purchasing feed will likely be at record levels this year. FULL STORY »
Early nutrition means more milk later
Nutrient intake during the first 42 days can have a profound impact on a calf and her performance later in life, points out Mike Van Amburgh, dairy scientist at Cornell University. FULL STORY »
The art of the physical exam
I have attended many meetings where speakers discuss how to find sick cows in your herd. But then what? Let’s take a few minutes to determine what to do with these cows once we find them. FULL STORY »
With spring just around the corner, it’s a good time to focus on hygiene. We all understand the importance of good hygiene. But, we’re so accustomed to the phrase that it often loses its meaning. And for some, good hygiene standards are quite variable. Don’t let that be the case on your operation. FULL STORY »
Ketosis: To treat or not to treat?
While performing a weekly herd check, I asked the head herdsman how the fresh cows had been doing recently. “Just fine” was the reply. Afterward, I reviewed some of the herd data from the dairy’s management software. We hadn’t been out to the farm in months to perform a displaced abomasum (DA) surgery, and milk production averaged 90 pounds per cow. So, the herdsman’s reply was correct, right? FULL STORY »
The value of a dead animal
A client told me the other day during a herd-check that his goal for next year is to reduce the number of newly fresh cows that die. My first question was, “Why are the fresh cows dying?” After herd-check, we reviewed his computer records and didn’t really learn much of value. FULL STORY »
We all must speak up
During the eight years that i have been writing this column, many changes have occurred — in the Midwest where I practice; nationally, and even internationally. I have applauded some of these changes, while bemoaning others. FULL STORY »