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 coat helps cattle to use less energy to stay warm, and more energy goes into immune function growth.
Why We Ferment Forage
Fermenting forages is very beneficial to cattle nutrition and production-wise. 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 …
Dear Farmer/Agribusiness person,
Field Day at Otter Creek is coming soon and what do we have to show you this year? In the past year, many changes have been made to our 1,000-acre operation — we have a lot that’s new in 2015.
The dairy herd grew too large for our facility, so we sold half of our cows early this year. My daughter Sadie bought the remaining herd and manages them here on the farm.
Now that harvest is over and your animals are getting a consistent feed supply for their winter ration, it is a good time to review and evaluate your 2013 forage production with your consultant. Your forage sample test results are your report card along with your yield data. Did you get the yield and quality needed to provide enough consistent high quality forage to optimize production and profitability? If you did, Great! Good Job! You probably have a pretty good idea of what you need to …
Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Take, for example, the cull rate at the Hoewisch Dairy. At 28 percent, it’s higher than we’d like to see on a good biological farm—except that rate reflects the fact that this family farm culls for profit. With an excess of cattle, annual sales of up to 20 head that they don’t have the space to keep builds their bottom line with an added revenue stream.
And it means that they keep their production levels high.