Dairy Article Archive

Caring for the Lactating Dairy Herd in Extreme Cold

Caring for the lactating dairy herd in extreme cold conditions also has its challenges. If not properly cared for producers may see a decline in performance including total milk production, increasing somatic cell counts due to mastitis, losses in reproductive efficiency and even decreased growth in young first calf heifers if the extreme cold continues for extended periods of time.

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Keeping Pre-weaned Dairy Calves Healthy and Growing in Cold Weather

The most critical and most expensive period of calf growth in raising dairy calves is the pre-weaning period. During this period calves are highly susceptible to cold stress with a lower critical temperature of 50°F for newborn calves and 32°F for older calves. Cold stress can result in calves turning to stored body fat to generate body heat, essentially losing weight. In addition, calves experiencing cold stress will have compromised immune systems making them more susceptible to disease.

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A Look at Today’s Dairy Housing

During the September 6th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we heard from Jim Salfer, Dairy Extension Educator at University of Minnesota Extension. Salfer discussed some of the improvements to dairy housing and facilities that today’s dairymen are implementing on farms to ensure cow comfort and promote welfare.

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