When and How to Disbud Dairy Calves

Young calf

When is the right time to disbud? What methods are the least painful? Why bother with pain relief? This short article looks to answer these questions while providing some of the latest information on disbudding dairy calves. The main take-home message from this article is that disbudding should be performed on calves up to 7 days old with paste, or calves 1 to 6 weeks old with a hot-iron disbudder using short- and long-term pain management protocols developed with your veterinarian.

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Hoof Trimming of Dairy Cows

Cow

Hoof trimming plays a large role in the prevention of lameness in dairy cattle. The importance of preventing lameness is not only pertinent to the welfare of the cow, but it has economic implications as well. Lameness has been estimated to cost $185 per clinical case in first lactation cows and $333/case in mature cows 2. Hoof trimming renders the herd less susceptible to structural lameness as well as bacterial-caused lameness as a structurally sound hoof will be less susceptible to bacteria harbored in manure slurry. Understanding the right time to trim cows and if it was done properly are important factors in maintaining healthy hooves.

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Dairy Management Tip of the Month: 
Correctly Collect Silage/Forage Samples for Nutrient Analysis

With this year’s crop season quickly coming to a close, properly sampling this year’s corn silage and other forages and using these results to balance rations should be completed.  Remember that forage samples should be taken and analyzed throughout the feeding year, not just in the fall.

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