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Preventative Nutrition: A New Way To Look At Feeding Your Dog

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

When I went to veterinary school thirteen years ago, part of our curriculum focused on what was at the time, a relatively new concept: medical nutrition; specialized dog and cat foods created for companion animals that had specific diseases. Some foods were formulated to help reduce the occurrence of kidney/bladder stones or to help control blood sugar in diabetic dogs, while others were formulated to help dogs with chronically itchy skin. Some dog food companies even went as far as calling their dog foods “prescription” diets available only from licensed veterinarians. The dog food industry embraced the idea of formulating foods specifically balanced to act as an adjunct treatment for animals with different types of diseases. From this concept a new line of canine nutrition has emerged; preventative nutrition.

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Spring Pasture: A Great Asset

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The spring flush of pasture is a great resource for producer profitability, animal health, and productivity. While pasture can provide a great deal of opportunity as an economical feed source, it is important to ensure the proper management of this resource. Waiting until the forage is adequately established before allowing grazing and keeping up with the fast growing flush, is critical to maintaining pasture health. Taking steps to prevent common pasture diseases like bloat and grass tetany will allow grazing animals to thrive on the new spring grass.

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Improving Reproduction In Your Dairy Herd

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By Kelly Hubert, B.S.

Reproduction plays a crucial role in the profitability and sustainability of a dairy farm. Finding ways to improve the reproduction of a herd can be challenging because there are many variables that can affect a cow’s ability to get pregnant. The waiting period before first service, ability to accurately detect heats, cow comfort, nutrition and the presence of mycotoxins in the feed are all factors that need to be evaluated when looking to improve the reproductive performance of your dairy herd.

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Forage Sampling

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

It is important to sample forages before adding them to a livestock diet. Sampling allows producers to have a balanced ration for their livestock and test for mycotoxins. It also gives farmers a snapshot into their agronomy, harvesting and storage practices. The results of a forage sample will only be as good as the technique and effort that went in to obtaining it.

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Can Calf Barns Really Have Too Much Fresh Air In The Winter?

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Cold temperatures are here and winter is quickly approaching. As the temperatures drop, calf barns are closed up and the ventilation rates are turned down. As an industry we do this reflexively, but is it what’s best for the calves?

Studies show that pre-weaned calves raised in hutches have lower pneumonia rates when compared to calves raised in barns. Even calves raised in calf barns equipped with modern ventilation systems can experience increased respiratory disease rates when compared to their hutch-raised counterparts.

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Anti-Nutritional Trends And Thoughts With 2017 Feeds Across The Midwest

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By  Dr. John Goeser, Phd, PAS & Dipl. ACAN-Rock River Laboratory, Inc.

Contributing Editor

Historically, mold, yeast and mycotoxins are thought of as the primary contaminants in feed that rob high performing dairy cattle of health and nutrition. More recently, stress and pathogenic bacteria have been better recognized as contributing factors that interact with fungal and mycotoxin contaminants. See Figure 1.

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The Importance Of Forage Testing

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By Dan Leiterman

The age old question of “How often should I test my forage?” has a different answer for every operation. Field sizes, crop varieties, harvest timing, and storage methods play an important role in determining forage testing needs. It is important to watch for changes in forage quality by observing your cows. Dry matter is the one exception for testing needs, as this should be evaluated weekly. There are several low cost, on-farm testing options available to monitor the dry matter of forages, such as a Koster tester or a microwave.

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Staying On Track: Reviewing Proper Milking Procedure

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By Kelly Hubert, B.S.

There may be a time on every farm where the milking protocol is not implemented or followed properly. This could be the result of a person in a hurry to finish chores or a new employee still learning proper protocol. It is important to follow proper milking procedures which can lower somatic cell counts, increase milk production, help earn better premiums and increase overall profit.

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Give Your Beef Calves A Strong Start

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

The stress caused by weaning decreases a calf’s immune function and makes them more vulnerable to disease. For many years it has been common practice to give medicated feeds, pellets, or additives around the time of weaning to decrease the incidence of disease. Treating with these medicated feeds can be expensive, counterproductive to rumen function, and now requires a veterinary prescription due to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Crystal Creek® formulates products that have natural ingredients proven to support calves during the stress of weaning and do not require the need for a VFD. Crystal Pellets and Heifer Pride are two products that can help give your beef calves a strong start.

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