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 …
You may be ready to see green grass and be done with winter, but are our pastures ready? Before the ground thaws (unless sloped) is a good time to fertilize or apply soil correctives to the paddocks that didn’t get tended to last fall. It is time to check fences, and as it warms and greens up, water lines, lane condition, and pasture stand.
Evaluate The Stand
How did it come through the drought and winter?
Heifers are the future of your herd and your long-term success as a dairy producer. Heifer raising makes up 20-25% of the total cost of milk production. A successful pre-weaning calf program has been proven to increase first lactation milk yield by 1,000 lbs – 3,000 lbs. Genetic selection can account for 150 lbs-300 lbs greater milk production per lactation, but pre-weaning management can increase this 5-fold.
A successful pre-weaning calf program includes:
- 1 gal of high-quality colostrum within 4 hours of birth…
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.
The Effects of Sunlight on Laying Hens
As the days get shorter, egg production starts to decline. Hens need a certain amount of daylight in order to maintain peak egg-laying. A hen’s reproductive cycle is controlled by photoperiod, or light exposure. Hens require at least 14 hours of light per day to lay eggs. Chickens produce eggs at a maximum rate with 16 hours of light exposure. Once daylight is less than 12 hours, egg production slows down considerably if not ceasing completely.