Dairy Herd Management Articles:
Protect cattle to prevent disease progression
When it comes to respiratory disease, don’t overlook protection from viral pathogens
Don’t let your herd get bugged by parasites
Managing internal pests pays off, even when times are tight.
Question your vaccines
When designing a vaccination program for a dairy, there are many variables to consider.
Get a handle on heifer mastitis
Find out what is causing mastitis infections to appear within days of calving.
How does your calf housing stack up?
Results from new calf housing research indicates that calves housed in poly hutches bedded with sand could have an increased chance of respiratory infection due to airborne bacteria concentrations.
Don't fall into this sanitation gap
Use disinfectants property and try to avoid situations that can lead to resistance among disease organisms.
Fridge health = calf health
Only three out of 10 fridges reliably kept the temperature needed for proper storage of animal health products.
Make the most of vaccinations
Vaccines are a powerful tool in the disease prevention toolbox, but their effectiveness depends a lot on how and when they are used. Use these tips to get the most out of vaccines.
Be proactive when it comes to disease management
Improve the health of your calves.
Pen moves are making me dizzy
Regrouping calves repeatedly after weaning may cause stress and weaken a calf’s immune system.
Digging into vitamin D needs for calves
A new model should help determine just how much of this nutrient dairy calves should get to promote optimal growth and health.
Don’t forget the thermometer
One of the most basic management tools that we forget to use is a thermometer, says Max Thornsberry, veterinarian and dairy technical specialist with Milk Specialties Global Animal Nutrition and Mid America Veterinary Consulting. Read Thornsberry’s advice for using this management tool.
Animal value reduced after exposure to PI cattle
With lifelong compromised health, persistently infected (PI) cattle are obviously a drain on economic resources, but they may be even more costly than previously assumed. New research shows that PI cattle can actually decrease the profitability of surrounding animals, even those that never develop the clinical disease.
Milking heifers before calving may reduce stress
If you are looking for ways to reduce stress around calving, and spread the changes that occur over a longer period of time, look back to this research study published in May 2007. Researchers began milking heifers 21 days before expected calving. Premilked heifers produced 42.5 pounds of milk one day after calving compared to 15.9 for control heifers.
Body condition score your calves
There are many different feeding programs for preweaned calves. Selecting the right milk or milk replacer option and starter is not easy, says Steve Hayes, veterinarian with Day 1 Technology in Winona, Minn.
Transition heifers successfully
Heifers returning to the dairy from a heifer ranch or new purchases can present health challenges. Use these tips to manage those challenges.
Do’s and don’ts of heat stress
Use these tips to prevent heat stress.
Cattle value reduced after exposure to PI cattle
New research shows that persistently infected cattle can actually decrease the profitability of surrounding cattle – even those that never develop the clinical disease.
Vaccinating the cow protects the calf
A regular vaccination program is an insurance policy that can help protect two animals for the price of one.
Know the signs of heat stress
Even when it’s not that hot out, animals can be affected by heat stress.
Calves can thrive in cold weather
According to research published in the December Journal of Dairy Science, when calves receive adequate nutrition, they can tolerate considerable periods of cold without affecting growth.
Don’t let respiratory problems snowball
Pneumonia is the most important disease in calves older than 30 days and, according to the National Animal Health Monitoring System, results in an average loss of $15 per calf per year. The challenge in controlling this disease is to catch it early, as the growth rate of respiratory bacteria can double every 30 minutes. Tom Shelton, veterinarian and senior technical services specialist for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health shares best-management practices to effectively manage respiratory disease.
Know the signs of heat stress
Keeping a close eye on weather conditions and your animals can be helpful in monitoring heat stress. Take action early, before animals are severely stressed. Watch for these signs of heat stress.
Blood serum and dehydration
Before taking a blood serum sample it is important to asses the calf for dehydration.
Take steps to limit heat stress
As the weather starts to warm up across the country, don’t forget to take steps to protect your animals from heat stress. The Dairy Animal Care and Quality Assurance certification program offers guidelines to mitigate against heat stress.
Colostrum is critical to a healthy start
Failure of passive transfer continues to affect a significant portion of dairy calves.
Control pests around the dairy
These resources can help you develop a pest management plan for your operation.
Plan ahead for the demise of fliesUse these tips to develop an integrated approach to controlling flies before they become a nuisance.
3 reasons to be wary of birds
Birds can cause serious economic losses to your operation; predatory birds kill calves, birds eat large quantities of feed and birds carry diseases.
Acidification of calf bedding may help control flies
Calf pens offer ideal breeding grounds for house and stable flies and are often target areas in fly control plans. New research published in the March 2010 Journal of Dairy Science looks at using sodium bisulfate as a possible fly-control measure in calf housing.
Plan your pinkeye prevention program nowAs pinkeye season approaches, it’s time for dairy producers to take preventive steps to control this contagious, costly disease. Pinkeye can negatively impact the production and overall health of dairy animals. Use this three-pronged approach to prevent pinkeye.
Parasites can rob heifer growth
Before turning your heifers out to pasture this spring, you might consider deworming them. Parasites can have a severe impact on heifer growth and development. Learn more parasites in dairy heifers, the need to deworm and timing of deworming.
5 ways to prevent pneumonia
The 2007 Dairy National Animal Health Monitoring Systems report identified pneumonia as being responsible for 24.5 percent of all pre-weaned calf deaths and 44.8 percent of all post weaned calf deaths. These tips from David Wolfgang, Penn State University extension veterinarian will help you prevent this disease.
Get a jump on fly season
Flies are a nuisance to animals and people; they can spread disease and reduce weight gain in calves and heifers. Use these tips to develop an integrated pest management strategy for fly control.
Plan your pinkeye prevention program now
Use this three-pronged approach to prevent pinkeye.