Click here to view as a pdf: 2018 August Newsletter
Click here to view as a pdf: Understanding The Principles Of Calf Barn Ventilation
By Jessica Getschel, B.S.
Understanding the basic principles of calf barn ventilation is essential in evaluating the many different ventilation options available today. There is no single ventilation system that will work for every situation because each calf barn is unique in its structure and layout.
The goal of a properly designed ventilation system should be to provide clean, fresh air at all times for healthy calf development. Ventilation is responsible for removing accumulated heat, moisture, air borne pathogens and noxious gases from the animal’s environment. These factors support the rationale behind ventilating year round, as moisture, pathogens and gases are constantly being released and a buildup of these factors leads to respiratory stress in calves.
Click here to view as a pdf: Improving Longevity In Your Dairy Herd
By Teresa Marker, B.S.
Healthy cows tend to stay in the herd longer. Currently, in the United States, the average productive lifetime for a dairy cow is 2.5 lactations. A cow does not mature until five years of age. Many cows are involuntarily lost during the first two months of lactation. The majority of these animals are removed from the herd due to poor transitions, lameness, mastitis and reproductive issues. There are several ways to improve longevity of a dairy herd which will ultimately lead to improved milk production and profitability for the dairy farm. Strategies to improve longevity on the dairy farm include: cull based on parity, bring in less heifers every year, improve the transition into lactation, focus on colostrum management, feed quality forage, and provide proper nutrition for all groups.
Click here to view as a pdf: Straw The Counterproductive Ingredient In Dry Cow Rations
By Erik Brettingen, B.S.
The dry cow diet is arguably the most important ration on the dairy farm; setting the stage for a successful lactation. Cows that freshen with metabolic problems of ketosis, milk fever or a displaced abomasum cost time and money to treat; often preventing the cow from reaching her full potential for that lactation. The goal of the dry cow diet is to limit these metabolic issues and support optimal health and rumen function going into lactation. Dry cow diets should be balanced with the following guidelines in mind:
Click here to view as a pdf: Ask The Vet Ask The Nutritionist
“I would like to test some feed stuffs with Dairyland Labs. Which test package do you recommend?”
-Wondering in Wisconsin-
Crystal Creek® recommends the Select Package. The Select Package (listed as N7 NIR Select on the Dairyland Labs Submission form) is recommended over the Basic Package because its analysis offers an evaluation of ash, TDN and NE values, where the Basic Package does not. Crystal Creek® considers these values essential for balancing a ration.
Click here to view as a pdf: A Poultry Success Story
Crystal Creek® has many customer success stories, one of which belongs to an organic family farm in upstate New York. This producer started on the Crystal Creek® Poultry Program approximately three years ago and currently has 9,913 brown layers. The birds were brought in as pullets at 18 weeks of age and are housed in an unheated, open barn with 15ft peaked roofs and curtain side walls. They are allowed access to the outdoor pasture at least one day every two weeks in the winter months, as is required for his free-range market. Feeding occurs once per day, by hand, and barn walkthroughs are performed about 10 times throughout the day to monitor floor eggs and bird health. Birds are weighed weekly and feed intakes are closely monitored. There are electric lights that are used to supplement the natural daylight to give the birds at least 16 hours of light.
Click here to view as a pdf: Interpreting Key Values Of A ForageTest
Forage testing gives great insight into the quality and value of feedstuffs. Testing allows for a better understanding of the forage value, whether feeding it out or looking to sell. Understanding key feed test values can give a producer insight on how their current agronomy, harvesting and storage management plan is working.
Click here to view as a pdf: Electrolyte Use
By Kelly Hubert, B.S.
Electrolytes are an important tool to use when supporting scouring and dehydrated calves. Scours are the leading cause of death in young calves, primarily because scours cause calves to rapidly dehydrate. It is important to monitor calves daily and treat them quickly when needed. A calf needs to receive 10% of its body weight in fluids each day for maintenance, while a growing calf will require even more1. Scouring calves need the calories from milk feedings as well as the extra fluids and nutrition that electrolytes provide. Electrolytes should be fed between the normal milk feedings. Mixing milk and electrolytes together interferes with the clotting mechanism of the milk and is not recommended1. It is best to start with a higher feeding rate of electrolytes and reduce it as the calf’s condition improves. If a calf is not drinking on its own, the use of an esophageal feeder may be required.
Crystal Creek® is proud to present Jessica Getschel and Dr. Ryan Leiterman’s recent article published in the Progressive Dairyman Magazine.
Progressive Dairyman will be featuring three of Jessica Getschel’s articles on calf barn ventilation this year. Jessica is a livestock nutritionist and ventilation specialist at Crystal Creek® and holds a bachelor of science degree from University Wisconsin Madison in Dairy Science and Microbiology.
Click here to view as a pdf: Key design features to consider before building a new calf barn
By Jessica Getschel, B.S.
Proper barn planning saves time and money. For every decision, it is important to understand its associated ramifications. In calf barns, housing style and pen configuration decisions impact ventilation options, which in turn affects the overall success of the barn. Before building a calf barn, think about the ventilation requirements for every season. Allocate at least 10 percent of the overall building cost for the purchase of a well thought out ventilation system and ask these three questions as you consider your ventilation options: