Friday, November 15, 2019

All Colostrum is Not the Same

Recently published work (A. Soufieri and Others, "Genetic parameters of colostrum traits in Holstein dairy cows." Journal of Dairy Science, 102:11225-11232, 2019) collected colostrum samples from 1,047 healthy Holstein dairy cows. 

The  yield was recorded as well as Brix values obtained from each cow's first milking. Laboratory analysis determined  both fat and protein content.

Yield The median yield was 5kg (about 6.3 quarts). The lowest yield was less than 1 quart while the highest yield was nearly 11 quarts (23.5kg).

Brix values  The median Brix was 25.9. The lowest Brix was 10.7 and the highest Brix was 41.4.

Fat percentage  The median fat was 6%. The lowest fat was less than 0.1% while the highest fat percentage was 18.2%.

Protein percentage  The median protein was 17.9%. The lowest protein was 4.8% while the highest protein percentage was 30.4%.

Conclusion? All colostrum is not the same. Keep using your Brix refractometer to sort colostrum before using for first feeding.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The "When" for Oral Electrolytes
November 2019 Calf Management Newsletter

The main points in the letter:
·        Electrolytes are only helpful if the calf drinks them.
·        The most important ingredient in an oral electrolyte feeding is water.
·        As soon as a calf’s manure will no longer stay on top of her bedding she may be losing more fluid than she is consuming – it is electrolyte time!
·        What other criteria make sense when deciding which calves receive electrolyte feedings?
·        How does electrolyte feeding fit into the daily routine?
·        Calves should still have access to free-choice water when receiving oral electrolytes and we should continue our regular milk feeding protocol.

The link to the letter is HERE or use this URL

Monday, November 4, 2019

Advice on managing abomasal bloat

In a recent webinar sponsored by the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Dr. Brian Miller made several practical suggestions for managing abomasal bloat.

The webinar summary prepared by Hoard's Dairyman is entitiled "Calf Feeding Consistency is Key." I think you will find Dr. Miller's suggestions both practical and possible to implement. 

Dr, Miller summarizes his advice:
Once you have the right milk to deliver, ensuring consistent feeding can make all the difference in preventing bacteria and fermentation enzymes from running rampant on the calf’s stomach.

The link to the summary is