Footbaths are the most commonly used management tool to control Digital Dermatitis (DD) on dairy farms. Proper footbath use will make DD management more effective and save money by reducing the amount of solution used.
Digital dermatitis is one of the most common foot diseases of the dairy cow and can be found in even well-managed dairy herds. It is an infectious disease caused by a family of spiral-like bacteria called Treponema. Special attention must be given to this foot disease in order to treat the animals which serve as a reservoir of infection and to reduce the spread of infection.
Fresh cows are the most important, and most vulnerable, group of cows in the barn. The first few weeks post-calving is the highest risk period for several diseases. Most infections, diseases, and/or metabolic disorders, such as milk fever, ketosis, retained placentas, metritis, mastitis, and displaced abomasums, or DAs, occur during this time.
Fresh cows have the greatest production potential in a dairy, but they are very susceptible to disease. The post-calving period is a critical time in a cow’s life for its well-being and performance. Fresh cow metabolic disorders can hinder lactation and subsequent reproductive efficiency.
This article was originally published in the Wisconsin Agriculturist. In Wisconsin, it has become more common for pre-weaned dairy heifers and bulls to leave the farm before one week of age. Calves of this age can be transported easily, but first, they need to be ready for the trip as they have a reduced capacity […]
While all the data points of information at our fingertips to monitor is a positive, there are still areas to improve when it comes to animal health and Automated Milking Systems (AMS), particularly for hoof health.
Why is it that dairy farms in my area are averaging under the Wisconsin average of 24,884 pounds of milk per cow? This question got me asking questions to some farmers and agri-service providers. One piece of the puzzle that emerged is that we may need to be paying closer attention to transition cows in our smaller herds. Care of the transition cow is not a new concept, but management strategies for the smaller farm may be overlooked when recommendations are shared.
The three–week period before and after calving is one of the most challenging times for dairy cattle because they must cope with physiological challenges such as decreased dry matter intake, impaired immune system function, and increased metabolic and systemic inflammation (Drackley, 1999; LeBlanc, 2010). After calving, inflammation has been documented in cattle (Bionaz et al., 2007; Huzzy et al., 2009). This suggests that cattle experience some degree of inflammation due to tissue damage associated with birthing and the immense metabolic demand associated with the onset of lactation (Bradford et al., 2015).
A sound colostrum management program should be the cornerstone to every farm’s calf management program. Calves are born with a naive immune system, one that does not have enough circulating antibodies to help fight disease. Because of this they are highly susceptible to disease for the first few weeks of life.
Raising healthy dairy calves requires maximizing the calf’s level of immunity against disease while minimizing its exposure to infectious diseases. However, there will still be times when calves will become sick. Can you identify the sick calf?