Tips on How To Take Care of Your Dairy Cows

Just the way you would provide a lot of attention to your car to avoid tow service, same care should be applied to your dairy cows.  Cows will always come first on a dairy farm, and this is for a good reason. When farmers give their best to take care of their cows, these animals stay healthy to the point of giving delicious and wholesome milk. Animal care is quite crucial, and you should learn to give only the best to your cows.

Many people are getting into the business of keeping dairy cows with the aim of getting a fresh supply of milk. Before going into this venture, there are a couple of things you need to bear in place to have a smooth operation. You can get some animal husbandry books and also talk to a veterinarian to that you may know what to expect. To get started in this venture, there are certain things you need to keep in place;

Choosing the Right Breed

In our previous article, we have discussed various cow breeds you can go for. Every dairy breed has a different milk composition and an average production volume. The Holstein breed is well known for keeping large quantities of milk but have a little butterfat concentration as compared to the Jersey breed. If you want to make cheese, you may consider going for the Jersey. Environmental factors have become a vital player in the determining which breeds fit a certain farm. You should look for breeds that can survive in your climatic conditions.

Teat Care

The udder is the most important component in your dairy cow. However, it is the part that is most susceptible to infections. The common disease that affects the udder is known as mastitis. To prevent the occurrence of mastitis, you need to keep the cow clean. Keeping the cow clean is quite important especially during the time of milking and right after. One of best ways to prevent mastitis is to ensure that the cow resides in clean bedding. Closer teat cleaning is also necessary, and you should equally disinfect the teats.

Nutrition

Dairy cows have a special dietary needs than any other type of cattle. They require additional nutrient supplements, particularly calcium. They also need a significant amount of water to be able to produce milk properly. You should also be kept on nutritional diseases that may infest the farms. It is also advisable to read on the specific requirements of your dairy cows.

Vaccinations

Vaccination is one of the primary ways to prevent diseases from infecting your cows. You should establish a good vaccination schedule that is tailored towards your dairy cows. You can create this plan by speaking to your veterinarian. You should also discuss the best treatments for your cows since some may cause abortions to the cows. To keep your cow ever milking, it needs to have a calf every year. The best way to prevent calfing problems is to match a bull to a cow or try artificial insemination.

Common Livestock Illnesses You Need to Know

The United States remains the world’s leading supplier of beef to the world. There is an abundance of pastureland in the middle of the nation that combines with raising of small herds of cattle on a family farm. In as much as it may be easy to raise animals, it has to be known that cattle face a variety of diseases. Diseases are more common among herds that are kept in a tight and enclosed location.

As a farmer, you have the duty to prevent the spread of diseases between animals, and from animals to humans. We have prepared this content to help readers and farmers understand the basics of hygiene and farm health planning measures that are set to help in prevention and mitigation of animal diseases. Common of the disease that affects livestock include;

Anthrax

Anthrax is a disease that naturally occurs in animals, and it is caused by a type of bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Animals and people get anthrax infection when they accidentally breathe in or swallow spores in contaminated food, soil or water. The greatest risk is to contact anthrax with bodily fluids of an animal that has recently died from anthrax. People living in areas infested by anthrax should consider vaccinating their livestock against the disease. The symptoms of anthrax are dependent on the way someone gets infected and can take between one day and two months to be discovered.

Brucellosis

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that affects the ability of an animal to reproduce. This disease spreads to humans through contact with birthing tissues of an infected animal or through drinking raw milk. Animals that are mostly infested by anthrax include sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, and dogs. Animals infected with anthrax may experience decreased appetite behavioral changes, weight loss and lack of energy. However, most of the animals infected with brucellosis do not show significant signs. If brucellosis is not attended in time, it may cause premature death to fetuses.

Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis is a severe parasitic disease that is transmitted through contaminated food or water via an infected animal or human, and in particular their stool. The risk of this disease is significant if it is coming to a young calm. Infected animals will normally have a high risk of diarrhea. Other severe diseases that affect livestock include; Escherichia coli, Campylobacteriosis, influenza among others. Influenza is a severe viral disease that affects pets, people and wildlife.

Common Dairy Cow Breeds to Keep

Might you have wondered why all dairy cows do not look the same? Some prepare more milk than others, with some thriving in certain climatic conditions. Do you want to get into the business of keeping dairy cattle and lack the vital knowledge on what it takes to succeed in this venture? Worry no more, we are here to get you started in understanding the best breed of dairy cows to keep.

Dairy cattle are cows that are bred due to their ability to produce milk. There are 5 leading breeds of dairy cows that farmers need to make a choice from. These breeds include;

Holstein

Holstein is a common breed known for her black and white spots. The cow’s spots are like snowflakes. The origin of this breed is Netherlands, with the first Dutch settler bringing it in America in 1621. The Holstein breed is well known in producing more milk as compared to other breeds. Holsteins are one of the largest dairy breeds and weigh around 1,500 pounds. They measure almost five feet tall at the shoulder.

Jersey

Jerseys are the second most popular dairy breeds of cattle after the Holstein. These breeds often stand out with their fawn-color coat, their prominent eyes and long eyelashes. Jerseys are the smallest breed of dairy cows and grow to weigh about 900 pounds. They are renowned due to their ability to produce milk with the highest percentage of proteins and butterfat. The first Jersey were brought in the United States in around 1850 from the island of Jersey in British.

Guernseys

The Guernseys are equally referred as the Royal Breed due of their golden hue of their milk. Its rich and golden color of milk is as a result of high levels of beta carotene, which acts as an excellent source of Vitamin A. This breeds was initially raised by the monks from the Isle of Guernsey in the English Channel. The Guernseys came to the United States from the Isle of Guernseys. This breed weigh around 1200 pounds when full grown and are about 3/5 in size as compared to the largest breed of dairy cattle- the Holsteins.

Milking Shorthorns

The Milking Shorthorns are considered to be the most versatile of all breeds. This breed comes in a variety of colors including red, white, red and white and roan. The Milking Shorthorns are average in size and weigh about 1,400 pounds when full grown. The Milking Shorthorns was imported to the United States as a dual purpose breed as they can be used for different purposes including meat and milk purposes. The Milking Shorthorns originated from the Northeastern England and arrived in the United States in 1783.

Ayrshires

The Ayrshires are considered as one of the most beautiful dairy cattle breeds.  They come in a variety of colors from light to deep cherry red, brown, mahogany or a combination of these colors with white. In terms of their characteristics, the Ayrshires weigh about 1,200 pounds. They have a medium stature that equips them to be strong and rugged cows that can easily adapt to different environmental conditions. The Ayrshires came to the United States from the county of Ayr in Scotland, in 1822.