One part of the diet that might get overlooked due to its small size is minerals. Trace minerals are essential to the diet. This is where free choice minerals can help.
Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN)
Milk processing plants and DHI can provide dairy managers with milk urea nitrogen (MUN) values on bulk milk and individual cow milk samples. MUN tests are useful tools that can allow the dairy managers to monitor changes in the feeding and management of their herd. Milk urea nitrogen is the fraction of milk protein that is derived from blood urea nitrogen (BUN). In Holstein’s MUN normally represents about 0.19 percentage points of the normal 3.2% total milk protein.
Salt, along with other minerals, is necessary to sustain life in cows. Read more about salt requirements for cattle.
Spring is here and that means grazing season is around the corner. There are some things to look out for when starting to graze cattle in the spring. Cool-season grasses tend to be low in magnesium and when cattle become deficient in magnesium, we start to see signs of grass tetany. Grass tetany is a nutritional or metabolic disorder characterized by low blood magnesium. Grass tends to be low in magnesium when they are immature and have high potassium.
Flies, Lice & Ticks – Oh my!
Spring is at our doorsteps and that means flies, lice, and ticks all come back. Flies especially, cause a lot of problems to the herd. Flies spread diseases, like anaplasmosis and pink eye. An abundance of flies on cattle tend to cause stress and irritation, which results in lower milk yields and decreased weight gain.
How can we prepare for fly season? Start by removing potential breeding grounds, which is anything damp.
Fermenting forages is very beneficial to cattle nutrition and production. When forage is fermented it causes a breakdown of forage material, making it easier for animals to digest. Since the fermented forage is easier to digest, the bodies can digest forage quicker and releases more energy for the animal. The cattle can utilize the feed more efficiently and this will result in less waste in the undigested material that they excrete.
Breaking it down to the molecular level, microbes multiply and break down the forage through …
Winter has arrived and as the colder temperatures have set in, Winter Dysentery may be affecting the herd. Winter Dysentery is a highly contagious GI disorder that affects adult dairy cattle primarily during winter. Current research indicates that it is caused by a particular strain of Coronavirus that attacks the intestinal lignin of adult dairy cattle. Winter Dysentery is typically spread through fecal-oral transmission, but viral particles present in respiratory secretions of affected animals may further enhance transmission.
The best way to prevent cattle from catching illnesses and diseases is cleanliness. Keeping cattle clean starts with their bedding. Nice, dry, clean bedding prevents the cattle’s coat from being covered in manure and mud. Many benefits come from clean, dry bedding as the insulation properties of the cattle’s hair coats are enhanced due to them being clean and maintained. In cold weather, a clean cow coat helps cattle use less energy to stay warm, and more energy goes into immune function growth.