Winter Dysentery | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

Winter Dysentery 
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.

Vitamins’ Role in Animal Health | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

Vitamins are very tiny organic molecules but play a huge role in livestock’s normal body functions.
  • Vitamin A comes from beta-carotene, a pigment in green plants that animals convert into vitamin A. Cows need 30,000 to 50,000 IU of vitamin A per head per day.
  • Vitamin D is formed from exposure to sunlight or other ultraviolet light rays that animals convert into vitamin D through their skin. Cows need 20,000 IU of vitamin D per head per day.

Cleanliness on the Farm | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

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.

Pain Management | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

Pain Management
It is fundamentally important to address pain for the animal’s benefit and production efficiency. Noticing early physiological and behavioral changes can help producers recognize problems before the pain becomes chronic or debilitating. For example, when calves are dehorned and in pain, they will flick their ears and shake their heads repeatedly. Noticing these behavioral changes, along with redness and warmth of horn buds, gives producers the opportunity to manage calf pain and decrease the risk of future health challenges, like scours.

Hoof Care | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

It is estimated that approximately 20% of lameness in cattle – dairy and beef is attributed to foot rot. Foot rot is an infectious condition that causes swelling, heat, and inflammation in cattle’s feet, resulting in severe lameness. Bacteria are responsible for causing foot rot. Fusobacterium necrphorum is the main foot rot causing bacterium. All the foot rot-causing microbes are mainly anaerobic, meaning they thrive in an environment without oxygen. Many of these bacteria are found in feces, so even healthy feet are present with bacteria.

Fermentation | Bailey’s Bit About Nutrition

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 …

From the Farm of Gary Zimmer

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.

Optimizing Forage Production in 2014

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 …

Focusing on Healthy Comfortable Cows

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.