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Herd Health
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Herd Health

Monday, 18 January 2016

The genetic guide to healthier cows

There’s been a great deal of industry buzz around new genetic programs and technology that promise to create healthier cows for your herd. That means it’s the perfect time to revisit the impact that selection for Productive Life within your genetic plan can have on the overall health and longevity of your cows.

Calf Health Monday, 04 March 2013

Calving Ease – Easier Said Than Done

Ask any mother if giving birth was “easy”. It’s likely this will not be her choice word to describe the experience. Difficult calvings, or dystocia, pose a particular problem not only in terms of pain, but also in terms of the future productivity of the dam and calf.

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Calving Thursday, 28 June 2012

Calving Pen Alternatives

The calving pen is one of the most strategic locations on the farm. The four objectives of good calving pen management include: comfort and low stress for the dam, low health risk to dam and calf, opportunity for seclusion by dam, and, convenience for people working with the cow and calf.

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Dairy News

More Dairy News

Assessing appropriate iron levels in drinking water for cows

When given access to drinking water, lactating dairy cows can handle iron (Fe) concentrations of up to 4 parts per million (ppm) without decreasing the amount of water they consume, according to results of a recent study entitled, “Preference and drinking behavior of lactating dairy cows offered water with different concentrations, valences and sources of iron.”

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Dairy Basics

Breeding & Genetics

There are several ways to get heifers bred quickly after they move into the breeding pen.


Ultrasound use has been a popular diagnostic tool for detecting early pregnancies, but the true benefit to reproduction comes from identifying open cows even sooner. A skilled ultrasonographer can identify a fetus and a heartbeat within 26 days of gestation.

Suboptimal reproductive performance leads to extended days open, increased culling due to reproductive failure, and decreased milk yield.

What are some of the risk factors for postpartum cows to be anovular (non-cycling) for a prolonged length of time? Researchers at the University of Guelph set out to find some answers using data from 2,178 Holstein cows in six commercial herds.

Herd Health

?The recent hot and dry spell is putting pressure on dairy cows and
grass growth as many herds are starting to see yields affected.

A new teat seal which is proven to dramatically reduce mastitis in
the 100 days post calving could deliver returns on investment of up
to 300%.

It's mid-June and the crops are on the whole looking well. Spring
barley and the wheat at home got a coating of slurry. This is
usually a time-consuming job with the slurry tanker, but this year
it was done in two days by a contractor with an ...

A third case of case of Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) has been
confirmed in Scotland. The latest case involved a homebred heifer
calf on a farm north of Aberdeen which was found to have
deformities typical of Schmallenberg and tested positive for the

Feed & Nutrition

Over the last few decades, ration balancing tools and product development technologies have improved exponentially. We also have a greater understanding of the cow's biology and dietary needs.

This understanding has led to simple, yet highly effective, nutritional products that enhance animal performance – rumen buffers, protected fats and yeast derivatives – merely being added on top of the existing diet.

These products are known as "feed additives." But what about more complex product technologies such as rumen-protected amino acids?

A New York state dairy noticed that its heifers were falling short of the herd's growth goals. The farm owner called in the herd's nutritionist to see how they could get things back on track to ensure heifers entered the lactating herd in a timely fashion.

Why is this an issue? Every month that calving is delayed beyond the 22-month target costs the dairy about $100 per animal because of lost production and fewer days of productive life.

New research shows that when calves on a higher plane of nutrition were fed three times a day instead of two, they had a much better chance of entering lactation than calves fed twice a day.

Management & Economics

WHILE farmgate milk prices increased by an average 5 per cent during the 2010/11 milk year, the commodity markets indicator, AMPE, showed a 31 per cent rise.