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Eggshell Quality Problems In Layer Flocks

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By Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

The purpose of any layer flock is to produce one of America’s favorite protein sources: eggs.

Eggs are a unique food in the fact that they go from farm to the consumer’s table largely unaltered. Therefore, any egg with visible imperfections of the eggshell needs to be sorted out and cannot be sold as is. Producers keep a close eye on the appearance of their eggs. While many deformities might look scary and immediately raise the concern of a serious issue like diseases, they very often have benign or easy to fix causes.

The main factors that affect eggs are most often nutrition, maturity of the bird, management factors like lighting, and stress. Infectious diseases are a rarer cause of eggshell deformities.

This article will help you to identify the kind of deformity, the cause, and offer problem solving strategies.

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Protocols For Weaning Beef Calves

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20220629_CCWEB_Dr-Darren-ZimmermanBy Darren Zimmerman, D.V.M.

Weaning calves takes planning. There is a lot to consider. Every farm is different with their facilities, management, type of cattle, diseases, and climate. As a veterinarian and beef producer, I understand some of the challenges beef raisers face. Below is a summary of how I wean my beef calves. It is not the only way to do things, but it is what works for our operation.

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Dairy Goats: A Growing Industry

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

The dairy goat industry in the U.S. has grown significantly in the past 20 years. Between the growing trend of homesteading and producers looking to expand into more diverse markets, many are seeing the benefits goats bring with their smaller, easy-to-manage size. More consumers are also discovering the diverse products dairy goats produce such as their milk, cheese, lotion and more.

Although we have seen the number of dairy farms shrinking in Wisconsin and other states, the number of dairy goats has been on the rise. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s last census done in 2017, dairy goat herds have increased in all 48 states, with the number of operations more than doubling. The number rose 61 percent between 2007 and 2017. Out of all the states, Wisconsin had the largest increase with 47,000 animals.

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Focus On Profits For Dairy Success

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

When sitting down with current and prospective dairy clients, the conversation regularly revolves around farm goals and benchmarks. This is important to make sure the dairy is headed in the direction the owners are striving for. Different dairies may have different goals, which is just one reason the dairy industry is so amazing. It is not unusual though, to find that farms may be scope locked on milk production as a goal without other context to go along with it. Milk production is very easy to measure daily, it has long been a metric of success, and let’s be honest, it is a lot of fun when cows are making a lot of milk. However, milk production alone does not equal profitability for the farm. Profitability, or at least income over feed cost, should be the focus on dairies and is what truly measures success. Profit is harder to measure and track but yields more positive results. Crystal Creek® works with clients to track profitability and comb through data to find opportunities for improvement. This includes tracking and monitoring feeding software programs, understanding of herd management software, DHIA report review and analysis, and diet evaluation to maximize profitability, not just milk production.

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