Feeding for efficiency: Dietary impacts on greenhouse gas production
A greenhouse gas is any gas in the atmosphere capable of absorbing heat from the sun and stopping it from radiating back into space. Many greenhouse gases occur naturally in our environment at low concentrations. However, human activity is increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, thereby trapping, and storing, additional heat and […]
Weight or wait? How defining breeding eligibility of heifers Impacts first lactation milk production
Raising replacement heifers is a large investment for farmers to create the next generation for their herd. The cost of raising a replacement heifer on average is $2,500 with feed accounting for approximately 50% of the total rearing cost.1,2 The average age at first calving (AFC) has been decreasing in the United States because farmers […]
Three Stages of Bovine Parturition
There are three stages to the birthing process, or parturition: dilation of the cervix, delivery of the calf, and delivery of the placenta. Knowing the normal birth process will help you decide whether or not to intervene.
Adding Value to Dairy x Beef Calves
Preconditioning dairy-beef calves for success as beef Various marketing opportunities exist for dairies to market dairy-beef cross calves including selling them ‘wet’ (i.e., preweaned, younger than 8 weeks of age). Dairies may retain ownership, marketing preconditioned or backgrounded feeder calves at approximately 400 or 700 lbs. Dairies may also finish beef cross cattle. Let’s take […]
Basics of Cocktail Forage Mixes
Cocktail forage mixes have become popular due to their use after a cereal forage harvest, their good forage quality, and their ability to apply in-season manure. In general, cocktail forage mixes are a blend of annual grasses (warm and/or cool season) and legumes. The warm season grasses are usually sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass, or millets, and cool […]
Pricing Corn Silage
What is corn silage? Corn silage is a unique feed that combines high non-fiber carbohydrate (starch) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF). It does not feed strictly like a forage or a concentrate. Corn silage is also unique when looking at the NDF fraction of the feed. If corn silage is separated into its two primary […]
Chlorine Dioxide as a Livestock Operation Disinfectant
By Donald C. Sockett, DVM, MS, PHD, DACVIM (large animal); Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, UW-Madison It is important for livestock barns, calf pens, and calf feeding equipment to be properly cleaned before the disinfectant is applied. If surfaces are not properly cleaned, the disinfection step is much less effective at killing disease-causing microorganisms. Many disinfectants […]
It’s Time to Cull ‘Cull Cows’ from our Vocabulary
Deciding when and how a dairy cow departs the farm is different on every operation. Making the decision to remove a cow from the herd is not always an easy one, but determining when the cow leaves and how is equally important. Changing the vocabulary from cull cow to market cow is a way to focus on what kind of animals are leaving the dairy.
Bilingual Calving Videos: Properly Applying Chains to Feet and Legs
Properly applying obstetrical (OB) chains to a calf’s feet and legs is an important technique to master. Watch the video below to learn how to properly apply chains so that you are prepared when the time comes to use this technique. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions. Videos are available in both English and Spanish and can be accessed directly on YouTube as well.
Getting the Dairy Herd You Want Through Improved Genetic Selection
Picking animals for your farm is one of the most important decisions you can make to improve long-term profitability. Whether it is choosing replacements, or deciding who will become parents, without proper consideration the decisions could end up giving you the genetics you did not want.
Is Your Dairy Ready for Disaster?
Whether it’s fire, flood, wind, or injury- a disaster on your farm can cause devastating loss and requires pre-planning to minimize the disruption.
How To Avoid The Risks Of Heat Stress
Each summer, dairy farm producers and their employees work through days of extreme heat and humidity – often starting in May or June and continuing into September. While we certainly need to protect our dairy cattle during these hot days, it is also an important time to be conscious of how to protect ourselves and our dairy farm workers during summer heat.