Armed and ready for vaccinations and tagging of calves this morning! Each calf has earrings haha that way we know exactly who she is! #dairy
Showing 34 posts tagged dairy
Watching her on the camera to see when she is done licking her baby off. Then we will feed colostrum, momma’s first #milk after giving birth, and the baby’s first, extremely important, nutritious meal. #dairy (at Watertown Holsteins)
Growing up in the dairy industry on my family’s registered (purebred) Holstein farm taught me a lot about what the ideal (true-type as we call it in the dairy world) Holstein looks like. At a young age I started judging and showing dairy cattle so that deepened my understanding of what desirable characteristics both dairy farmers and dairy cattle judges search for. Through a course at South Dakota State University, where I gained my Bachelors in Agriculture Dairy Production, I learned more specifically why each of the characteristics are desired and what their specific purpose is. Each trait or characteristic that a dairy cattle judge views as ideal has a purpose beyond just “looks”. For example, the udder is the most important part of a dairy cow because it is what produces the delicious milk for all of us. So when a judge is looking at an udder, he or she wants that udder to look a certain way, because often times when the udder is phenotypically correct (looks correct) it CAN perform it’s function well, by producing a lot of quality milk! There are many more details to looking at an udder as a judge, but I hope that helps you understand the general idea. Beyond learning about specific characteristics, I personally learned what the ideal Holstein looks like through working with dairy cattle most of my life, and got to see why these traits are necessary and why they help the cow. The topic of this post is about embryo transfer making that a long introduction that doesn’t exactly cover the very scientific, technical procedure of transferring embryos. While there may be some of you interested in the science side of embryo transfer that isn’t why I am writing about it today. I would just like to help folks understand why we do it. Although the science is very interesting so I would encourage you to read this book, found at the Hoard’s Dairyman, http://www.hoards.com/bookstore/EMBR. I share a copy with my brother, and highly recommend it!
First the definition of embryo transfer, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Veterinary Medical Board, “Embryo transfer is a procedure whereby an embryo is removed from a donor cow and placed in the uterus of a recipient cow for the duration of gestation (full-term pregnancy). The procedure is commenced by administering hormones to the donor cow to induce “superovulation” (meaning the cow ovulates more than one egg) whereupon the animal is usually artificially bred. Approximately seven to ten days later, the transfer takes place by administering an epidural anesthesia to the donor cow and removing the fertilized ova by a manual procedure of directing a catheter through the cervix into the uterine horn. Several doses of small amounts of nutrient medial are placed into the uterine horn and then pulled out by either suction with a syringe or gravity flow. The media recovered from the uterine horns is searched for ova and those deemed viable are inserted into the recipient cow in a procedure similar to artificial insemination.”
Last summer, while interning, I had the opportunity to shadow a veterinarian, Dr. Daniela, also known as the embryologist for the Maddox Dairy and RuAnn Dairy, for a couple of days (www.maddoxdairy.com for more information). My other experiences around embryo transfer are on my family’s dairy, Watertown Holsteins, where my younger brother, now certified in embryo transfer, performs the procedure. In the past we have also had another great embryo transfer technician from Simple Dreams Genetics Inc. of Hull, IA. So here’s the point, we along many other dairy farmers and ranchers use embryo transfer to help increase the rate at which our genetics improve. As stated earlier, the traits we want in animals help them to live happier and more productive lives. We choose to flush, (slang for embryo transfer, in reference to flushing the uterine body) cows because they have those desirable traits that make give their bodies longevity, productivity and beauty. Another huge part of the decision to flush a cow is knowing the cow’s pedigree, who her parents and grandparents were. In the dairy world we call her mother, her dam, and her father, her sire. Then granddam for grandma, and grandsire for grandpa. Currently there is a huge boom in genomics in the dairy industry, and that also largely affects which cattle are chosen for the embryo transfer procedure. By increasing the rate at which our genetics progress in our herd, we can increase the number of animals that have the desirable characteristics, and decrease the number that don’t. Basically we would like more beautiful cows, who do a fabulous job producing high quality milk. Instead of waiting for that one beautiful cow (who has the desirable traits, pedigree, and produces lots of milk) to have one baby a year, we can have multiple babies from her! The thing is, she doesn’t have to physically have all of the embryos found thanks to being able to transfer the embryos to recipients for the full pregnancy. As the world population increases to 9 billion people by 2050, farmers and ranchers across the livestock industry will be expected to produce more food. As we look to do this we want and need to have cattle that perform their best, look their best and because they look their best, in turn will feel their best since these traits help that cow live a longer, happier and more productive life. Having my cows feel their best is very important to me, so next time you hear about embryo transfer remember it is not only about having better cows, but cows that feel better and do their job better too!
Be sure to email any questions to me at email@example.com. I love telling people about one of my passions, dairy!
It’s the way she stretches with a good ‘ole scratching
Makes me chuckle maybe with a little cackling
It’s the nuzzle of her nose to the calf that’s just standing
Makes sure to complete the ultimate first bathing
It’s the look in her eyes when feed’s like a prize
Makes it easy for me to hurry up and rise
It’s the milk, rich and tasty, that she’s happy to give
She’s the dairy cow, mother of mankind, so we can live
It’s milking her today, and again then tomorrow
Seeing her mature, yes goose bumps could follow
It’s the sway of her tail to tell us her tale
But my dedication to her, no it will never fail
Author: Ana Schweer
I can’t believe it is already March 2013, wow time has flown by! During spring break I had the opportunity to shadow a vet from the Worthington Veterinary Medical Center. With her I visited a few different locations learning more about:
Calf care, performing ketone tests after drawing blood samples from cows, mastitis caused by Prototheca - an algae, different strains of bacteria that cause calf scours and their characteristics, and discussed some trends in the use of antibiotics and of course there was much more. I always enjoy visiting with veterinarians because they are so knowledgable!
This past week I shadowed vets from the Dell Rapids Vet Clinic. During my time there I learned about:
Transition cow management, the 4DX snap test, helped deliver a baby lamb, helped euthanize a dog in pain, examined microscope slides from a dog with a yeast skin infection. I also got to visit with the head vet of the clinic about resumes and what kind of experiences are most valuable and when you should be attaining the needed skills to be a vet. All of the vets and folks at the clinic have so much knowledge! It’s a privilege having the opportunity to shadow some great veterinarians! I always look forward to shadowing!
As far as what I have been up to with the dairy, my family and I stay busy as usual doing the daily chores and various projects. Though I am only home on the weekends I visit with my dad and brother throughout the week about happenings on the dairy. This past week we had a two new heifers born! The mothers are doing well and so are the two new additions to the herd. With the cold weather we have been bedding the cattle more and more and hope that spring is just around the corner! The Holstein cows have been producing 83 pounds of milk a day. When I come home on the weekends some of the things I that do include keeping up to date on the vaccinations of calves, bed cattle, feed cattle, site clean-up, and milk the cows. I also like to put my skills of observation to the test by walking through our different pens trying to pick up any abnormal behaviors that could mean an animals needs treatment. There is a never ending to-do list around the farm, but we chip away at it one day at a time!
Lastly, I am thankful for each day the good Lord grants me. So, I leave you with a quote and a verse, The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice and be glad. Psalm 118:24
Everyday is a good day to be a sponge, as in soak it all in because today is only going to happen once! After all you can never soak up too much knowledge!
Learn more about the 4DX snap test: http://www.idexx.com/view/xhtml/en_us/smallanimal/inhouse/snap/4dx.jsf?SSOTOKEN=0
Learn more about ketosis, why we test for ketones in cows: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/80900.htm
Time to vaccinate calves! Preventative therapy is an important part of any healthy herd. #dairy #wannabeavet (at Watertown Holsteins)
Milk tester is here! We check each cow’s #milk production every month here on our #dairy. The meter reads above 40 pounds for one milking. That means she milks about 80 lbs/day! Which would be about 9 gallons of milk!! #holsteins #milk #drinkup (at Watertown Holsteins)
Well hello again number 12, last time we saw each other it was at the Bos #Dairy Sale near Fresno, CA. Fortunate to be taking care of this beauty for a few days for a neighboring #dairyman! #holsteins #sorryabouttheweatherdear
“Dairy farmers say soy products on the market calling themselves “milk” or “yogurt” are making false claims.” (recordnet.com)
I have heard the saying, show me how to milk a soybean and I will call it milk. I always chuckle when I hear this because it’s impossible to milk a soybean haha! I understand why someone who has allergies to dairy or lactose intolerance may choose a product without dairy. However even with lactose intolerance, one can consume dairy products, just in small amounts at a time. This is an interesting read from recordnet.com. Check it out as well as some of the useful links I have attached below.
To learn more about the dairy imitators click on this link, http://www.midwestdairy.com/0t298p335/dairy-imitators/
If you are lactose intolerant or think you may be check out this site for more helpful information.
Today I shadowed the vets in Dell Rapids, SD! We discussed management of colostrum and maternity pens. Covering topics from how important personalities play in to day to day communication on any farm or in any business, to the stages of calving labor in dairy cattle. I found out that though 40% of immunoglobulins are denatured in pasteurization the remaining 60% can do the job. However the colostrum has to have a Brix refractometer reading of at least 25, which is the solids level in the colostrum. The higher the solids level the better! A calf that receives clean, quality colostrum warmed to the correct feeding temperature, 105-108 degrees Fahrenheit, within a few hours of birth has a significantly higher chance of survival than one that doesn’t. There is no product that can replace the colostrum that comes from a mature cow, one who has had at least two calves. I also had the opportunity to witness a dog neutering surgery and another dog had a full dental exam with teeth cleaning and all. It was another great time to shadow some great vets! I especially enjoy shadowing because it helps me get more excited about applying to vet school!!! Yay!!!
Check out the excitement of our heifers and dry cows as we bed them! Cattle never cease to make me laugh! Haha!
She stands on the curb cuz she thinks she’s better than all the other cows haha! Cow pride… #dairy #boss (at Watertown Holsteins)