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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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Dr. Michaela Kristula, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, began her presentation on mastitis management by telling dairy farmers that they are the most important factor in controlling mastitis in their dairy herds.

High-quality milk is within your reach, she said, if you simply establish a protocol for managing mastitis and make sure it is routinely and consistently followed.

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Generally when we think of milk quality, we are thinking about bacteriology and SCC. However, there are other factors as well that have direct influence on the final products derived from raw milk. What are some of the management factors that lead to producing quality milk? Here is a list of management areas we need to pay attention to:

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The route from the dry pen to the lactating pen is a very important stage in a cow’s life. Fresh cows set the pace for the entire herd, and the first 60 days post-calving define a cow’s lactation.

In order for a herd to hit its production goals, the fresh cow program must be dialed in. But is it possible we’ve moved the needle too far with our fresh-cow monitoring programs? Are we interfering too often and sabotaging our own success?

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The dry period is an important stage in a dairy cow’s life as she transitions between lactations. Proper feeding and management of dry cows increases milk production during the next lactation and reduces the risk of metabolic disorders.

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In recent decades, genetic advancement has improved milk production and composition but at the cost of fertility and life span.

At the beginning of lactation, cows have high energy requirements due to an increase in milk production. When a cow is unable to consume enough energy, excessive body fat mobilization will occur, resulting in loss of body condition, indicating a negative energy balance.

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All ketosis cases are not created equal, but diagnosing cows with Type 1 or Type 2 may make all the difference in treatment success.

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