Click here to view as a pdf: 2017 December Newsletter
Click here to view as a pdf: Can Calf Barns Really Have Too Much Fresh Air In The Winter
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.
Click here to view as a pdf: Anti Nutritional Trends And Thoughts
By Dr. John Goeser, Phd, PAS & Dipl. ACAN-Rock River Laboratory, Inc.
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.
Click here to view as a pdf: The Importance Of Forage Testing
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.
Click here to view as a pdf: Reviewing Proper Milking Procedure
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.
Click here to view as a pdf: Give Your Beef Calves A Strong Start
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.
Click here to view as a pdf: Winter Udder Care
By Alex Austin, B.S.
Udder care is important year-round, but the winter months can present their own specific set of challenges. Low temperatures and cold wind chills can be brutal on exposed skin. Preventative measures and proactive treatments can make all the difference in udder health.
“We see sporadic outbreaks of ringworm in our livestock and can’t seem to get rid of it. What exactly causes ringworm and how can we prevent it?”
-Puzzled in Pennsylvania
There are many producers across the nation who experience bouts of ringworm and struggle to get rid of it. Ringworm is caused by a contagious fungus called Trichophyton verrucosum. This fungus spreads easily throughout groups of livestock, especially those housed indoors. The spores multiply and spread rapidly, and can be picked up anywhere in the environment. Once an animal comes into contact with the spores, they irritate the skin and cause an infection.