Diarrhea, or scours, accounts for over 50% of illnesses in preweaned calves, contributing to 32 percent of all deaths in calves (USDA NAHMS 2014 Preweaned Calf Component Survey). Scours itself does not usually kill the calf. Rather, the calf will succumb from the dehydration and electrolyte imbalances which follow. Early identification of affected calves and early and aggressive treatment with fluids and electrolytes is the most successful way to treat scouring calves.
Winter weather brings new challenges for completing chores on the farm. Calf care is no exception. Calves perform best when we acknowledge their needs change in colder weather and adjust our management accordingly.
Prototheca bovis has been cultured in herds and is emerging as a threat to producers statewide. Prototheca has been linked to mastitis since 1952, however, within the last five years, the prevalence has significantly increased. Similar to Staph aureus and mycoplasma, Prototheca is hard to detect, has no known cure, and is contagious by intermittently shedding from cow to cow.
Animal care and welfare starts on day one with the newborn calf. Healthy calves are the cornerstone of every dairy operation, not only providing the future genetics for the herd but healthy calves are also important to the vitality of the dairy farm.
Superior calf performance begins during the birthing process in the maternity pen. Based on the 2017 USDA NAHMS Survey, five to seven percent of all newborn calves are stillborn or die within the first 48 hours. To improve calf survival after birth, we must follow practical, consistent calving protocols and provide a clean, dry calving environment.
One of the simplest best management practices we can do for the newborn calf is navel care. Previous University of Minnesota research showed in a controlled study that umbilical cord care significantly reduced the risk of developing umbilical cord infections.
As operations grow, or focus more on the milking herd, it has become a necessary component in moving newborn calves from the farm to a separate calf raising facility, some being out of state. Handling and transporting these calves can be stressful. However, there is limited research on the impact of long-distance travel on a newborn calf’s welfare.
Hoof health is essential for not only the overall health of the animal, but also for her welfare. Digital dermatitis (DD), or hairy heel warts, is an extremely painful condition for dairy cattle, reducing their ability to walk to and from the milking parlor, or to the feed bunk. Based on USDA NAHMS 2017 data, 16.8% of all cows and 2.6% of bred heifers have lameness on a dairy operation.
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 […]
Below is a visual representation of what to enter in the report screen to generate charts similar to what is shown in the companion factsheet: “Using Bovisync Reports to Assess Potential Impact of Heat Stress on a Dairy”. Milk Production Butterfat Percent Reproduction Milk Quality Clinical Mastitis and Transition Cow Health Download Article