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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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Summer is upon us. It is time to think about and be prepared for the stress that will live in our dairy herds in the coming months.

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Heat stress reduces on-farm profits. Short-term impacts of heat stress can be easily measured by tracking milk shipments during and after a bout of excessive heat. During these periods, milk losses can reach up to 10 to 20 percent.

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We all know cows are sensitive to heat stress, with cumulative, negative effects that compromise both cow productivity and farm profitability. It’s important that both humidity and temperature (THI) are taken into consideration when measuring heat stress levels because humidity will affect at what temperature cows become heat stressed.

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With the first round of proAction’s animal care assessments concluded, the areas that assessors examine on-farm have gained added attention in the industry: injuries on hocks, knees and necks, as well as lameness and body condition score. Although Canadian dairy farmers are scoring well in these categories and generally raising the bar when it comes to animal comfort, we have gathered information in this article to help you monitor your herd’s success with respect to hock injuries.

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How confident are you in your ability to eyeball a cow’s bodyweight? What about your ability to notice a 200-pound (90-kilogram) difference between two animals? What about your employees’ ability to notice that same difference?

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One of the most frustrating situations for a dairy owner is to find a dead or dying cow and not understand the cause. In the case of sudden death, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) should be considered, especially if you own a large, high-producing herd.

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