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Dairy Goats Benefit From High Quality Nutrition

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By Dan Leiterman

Goats are competent browsers, which leads to the misconception that goats can eat and thrive on almost anything. In reality, because goats have a shorter digestive system relative to their body size, food is not retained as long. This increases the need for both higher levels of nutrition and higher quality nutrients. This faster digestive pass through time, reduces nutrient absorption, but also allows goats the ability to increase their dry matter intake to offset the short access time to nutrition. The range of dry matter intake for goats is 3 to 5 % of their body weight which is typically higher than other ruminants.1

A goat’s diet may consist of a wide variety of feedstuffs. Goats can browse on shrubs, graze on pasture and can accommodate supplemental grain feeding when necessary to meet nutritional requirements during times of higher production or winter months.

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Understanding Biofilms In Agriculture

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By Jessica Dercks, B.S.

In agriculture today, sanitation technique and protocol implementation have become more important than ever before. An increased awareness of health benefits gained from a clean environment has stimulated a higher standard of cleaning expectations. Many producers not only strive to remove organic matter from surfaces, but also microbial buildup; more accurately, biofilms.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

My Layers Were Producing Well, But Are Not Producing Now –

What Is The Problem?” – Eggless in Ohio

 As you might expect there is a long list of reasons why this might happen. However, the most common theme that results in a decrease in egg production is stress. Stress is defined in medical terms as, “Any physical, physiological or psychological force that disturbs equilibrium…..includes agents that upset homeostasis, such as infection, injury, disease, internal organ pressures or … strain.”1

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Swift Start® Calf Feeding Challenge

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By Teresa Marker, B.S.

The ultimate goal for calf raisers is to raise a healthy, profitable replacement for their herd. Crystal Creek’s Swift Start® Calf & Heifer Program consistently provides the jump start calves need to become a productive part of the herd. The Swift Start® program consists of a line of milk replacers, texturized calf feeds, calf pellets and calf and heifer minerals that are formulated with industry leading technology and manufactured with the highest quality ingredients available. Calf raisers on Crystal Creek’s Swift Start® Calf & Heifer Program see less scours, better average daily gains and smooth transitions after weaning.

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Hygiene Protocols For Successful Calf Raising

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By  Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Every calf raiser knows that keeping calves healthy is neither simple nor easy. When a calf’s exposure to pathogens “outweighs” its immune resources, the results are clinical illness. One of the keys to keeping calves healthy is reducing disease causing pathogens at their source using proper hygiene procedures.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

Click here to view as a pdf:  Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

Based on your experience, what practices do you see successful calf raisers implementing on their farms?”

 Our best calf raisers excel because they all focus on their colostrum, bedding and sanitation programs. Although each of these management topics can be an entire article in and of themselves, below are some QUICK TIPS for calf raisers:

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Feedstuffs

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TeresaBy Teresa Marker, B.S.

Dairy producers spend a lot of time, energy and money to grow, harvest and store quality feedstuffs that will be used to feed their livestock. Optimizing those feedstuffs by feeding a balanced ration will make the rumen more consistent and provide a stable environment for rumen microbes to grow which will help improve herd performance, productivity and profitability. Evaluating silage management, TMR mixing and bunk management on the farm are all useful areas that can be evaluated to help maximize the full potential of homegrown feedstuffs.

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Beef Up Your Mineral Feeding Program

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Are Your Cows Getting What They Need in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy?

Erik_WEBBy Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Limiting or decreasing the amount of mineral provided to beef cattle is a common practice to save money throughout the year for some beef producers. If a cow is shorted the vitamins and minerals needed during the third trimester of pregnancy, it will negatively affect the health of the cow and her calf. The third trimester is a critical time, with 75% of the calf’s total weight gain occurring over these three months¹. The fetus’s growth increases the nutritional stress load on the dam and cows that don’t consume enough mineral during this period deplete crucial reserves of many nutrients such as calcium, copper, manganese, selenium, and zinc. By reducing supplemental mineral during this time, future rebreeding, immune function, udder health, and calf health can all be negatively affected. Providing an adequate supply of supplemental bioavailable vitamins and minerals during the third trimester is a must to maximize health and productivity of both the cow and her calf.

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