Fluctuating temperatures and wet weather have brought some devastating respiratory outbreaks to our area. While bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, stress is an important part of the disease process as well. Stress suppresses the immune system and creates an opportunity for pathogens to cause disease. There are many causes of stress including shipping, commingling groups, weaning, weather fluctuations and feed changes.
Fall calving is wrapping up and we are already looking towards preparing for the next breeding season. Many cow-calf operators use important management tools, including pre-breeding vaccination and post-breeding pregnancy checks, to maximize the health and productivity of the herd. However, bulls are equally important to a successful breeding season. While bulls don’t always come through the chute when the cow herd is being worked, vaccination and deworming has a great effect
Alvis Dairy is one of two remaining dairy farms in Goochland County, Virginia. Erin Henley, part of the fourth generation currently working on this family-owned and -operated farm, oversees the health and welfare of their 850 lactating cows, as well as growing calves and dry (non-lactating) cows. Erin works six to seven days a week from dawn till dusk (and in the middle of the night at times) to ensure that her animals are healthy, comfortable and producing a wholesome produc
Meet #313 of J Team Dairy. She is identified by a number and she spends most of her time during lactation living in a barn. Factory farm? I think not. Meet Jim, co-owner along with his wife Terri, of J Team Dairy. Jim wakes up at 3 AM every morning to milk his cows. His daughter, Molly, milks every day at noon. They have two employees who milk in the evening. They rotate weekends to cover milking and feeding of cows and calves. Here are Molly’s nieces helping feed calves. Mol
Dry cow treatment is an important part of udder health on most dairies. With increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use in food-producing animals, many universities are studying selective dry cow treatment as an alternative to blanket treatment. Selective dry cow treatment has been used effectively in other countries, and some U.S. herds have begun to implement such a program. The biggest challenge is identifying which cows require dry treatment. A relatively high cutoff is
Vaccines are an important part of herd health management. It is a relatively inexpensive way to invest in the health of your herd by preventing or reducing the severity of respiratory, reproductive and other disease.
All cattle in Virginia should receive the following vaccines annually:
Clostridial 7-way: Commonly called “blackleg”, this is a vaccine that is critical in calves and should be boostered annually in animals one year and older. Calves should recei
Cows twin at a rate of one to seven percent, with dairy breeds twinning two to three times as frequently as beef cows. Most would prefer this number to be zero due to several negative consequences of twinning, including: Increased risk of calving difficulty, retained placenta and metritis. This often leads to delayed return to fertility. Dairy cows calving with twins are more prone to transition issues such as ketosis and DAs. Twins more than double the risk of abortion and i