Contents of This Issue
Click on each article title to read the entire article.

Baleage Mistakes Can Lead to Major Health Consequences

Baleage or “wet wrapped hay” is simply forage of a relatively high moisture content that is baled with a round baler and then sealed in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic, to keep oxygen out.  Anaerobic bacteria (those that live without air) convert sugars in the forage to lactic acid which in turn lowers the pH and preserves the forage as silage, with full fermentation completed within 6-8 weeks.  Problems arise when conditions in the bale allow growth of disease-causing organisms and potentially fatal conditions in cattle.

Group Housing and Calf Feeders

With recent consumer concerns regarding the welfare of dairy cattle, calf management practices are being reviewed. Consumers are wanting calves to be raised in a more “natural” environment, allowing them to have the ability to express behaviors similar to those in a wild setting. Group housing systems may offer  calves the opportunity to interact socially and address consumer’s concerns.

Labor Efficiencey and Determining Labor Needs for a Dairy Operation

In times of low milk prices and even in times of high milk prices if input costs are high dairy farmers look for ways to cut costs and get by. One place many farmers try to manage costs is labor because for many operations labor is the most inefficiently used resource.

Understanding Metritis in Dairy Cows

Metabolic and infectious diseases in transition dairy cows directly impact future milk production and reproductive performance. Metritis is an infectious disease that is typically observed 10 to 14 days after calving. Fresh cows with this infection have a foul smelling discharge and may or may not have a fever. Approximately 12% of freshening dairy cows experience some degree of metritis, with the incidence rate being greater in those that experience a difficult birth, have twins, or have a retained placenta.