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Herd Health

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

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We’ve been trying a different protocol on dairy heifers for the final month pre-calving. Here is a personal rendition of why we tried this new approach, how social media responded and what we’ve been learning.

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The “transition period” is the point in time when a dairy cow transitions from pregnant and not milking to milking and not pregnant. It is somewhat akin to launching a rocket from a standstill to orbit in a matter of weeks.

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It’s the middle of winter and your dairy cows have likely dealt with seasonal lameness this fall. This has probably led to lower production levels, weaker reproductive performance and a pile of bills for additional hoof trims, wrappings and other treatments.

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There’s no debate that dairy farming relies on cycles. From the time of day cows are milked and fed to the timing of heats and breeding, everything has a time and a place.

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Postpartum disease and disorders may pose a threat to dairy cows, negatively affecting culling, lactation and reproductive performance. Approximately one-third of dairy cows have at least one clinical disease (e.g., metritis, mastitis, digestive issues and respiratory problems) during the first three weeks of lactation.

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In response to industry and consumer calls for more judicious antibiotic use, additional research has gone into selective dry cow treatment (SDCT).

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