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Herd Health

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

LATEST

Prevention and treatment of oxidative stress (OS) could be the solution to many of the dairy health, production and welfare issues of our time. Dr. Melissa Behr of the South Dakota State Diagnostic Lab believes “oxidative stress is the backbone of all diseases and cancer in mammals.”

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Ensuring your cows are healthy will improve their productivity, longevity, fertility and resistance to disease, along with reducing the costs of upkeep. A key to this well-being is controlling and limiting their stress.

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The marketplace for dairy feed additives is saturated with products that claim to improve production, rumen health, cow health or efficiency, among other advantages. Many of these products can be classified as either prebiotics or probiotics.

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The phone call came in one evening last month. A grass-based dairy farmer, whom I’ve known for years, was calling – there was a problem. Three cows were down; two of them were trembling with something like spasms.

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The problem

Flies can be costly to dairy farmers due to disease transmission and irritation. Whether feeding upon animals or simply being a nuisance, flies can reduce milk production and decrease weight gains.

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In recent years, several research groups have started to prioritize studies on cow behavior to determine the benefits herd management can have on milk production. Early studies have shown the basic needs of a cow will consume 20 to 21 hours per day, which leaves little room for mismanagement. 

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