Rumen stability must be properly managed for herd health and optimum efficiency. Feeding and nutrition management can improve production and fertility as well as reduce the length of time between calving. Learn more about rumen health and prevention methods for rumen acidosis in dairy cattle.
When should colostrum be fed to calves and for how long? When to adjust calf nutrition is determined by rumen development. Learn more.
Heat stress can cause many issues for the cows and the farmer. How do we prevent heat stress in cattle? Water consumption and housing ventilation can be great combat methods for heat stress in dairy cattle.
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.
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.
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…
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.