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We have a real treat in store for today’s blog! Jenna Facer, Calf and Young Heifer Manager, shares how she has developed an acidified milk feeding program on the farm she currently works on. Jenna grew up next to grandparents who owned a 70 cow Holstein dairy. She was involved in 4-H and had the opportunity to milk for a neighboring 100 cow dairy down the road.  When her grandparents sold their cows in 2003, she knew she still wanted to be involved in dairy production. So, she went to Virginia Tech and got a degree in Dairy Science. After...

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Recently, I had the opportunity to try out some new technology. I had the chance to use the D2Dx unit from Nano Discovery. This unit measures immune parameters in the blood of the animal to assess the level of protection they might have against disease. I see potential in this unit providing information to help producers make informed treatment and nutrition management decisions.   Historical Background NAHMS health data from the past 20+ years has shown little change in disease incidence in dairy calves. Improvements in animal health will come as we understand more about the immune system and how...

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Diarrhea, or scours, remains the most common cause of illness and death in pre-weaned bottle-fed calves. It is estimated that scours account for over half of reported illness and one-third of the deaths in calves raised in this manner.  Traditionally, antimicrobials have been used to prevent and treat scours. It is estimated that 75% of bottle-raised calves are treated with antimicrobials in the United States and 30% in Canada.   Prophylactic Use of Antimicrobials Prophylactic, or preventative use, of antimicrobials is commonplace in many calf rearing programs. USDA data from 2018 reported 40% of dairy operations still relying on antimicrobials...

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Cryptosporidium and Giardia are both protozoan species that affect a wide range of animals, including people. Both organisms are prevalent in dairy and beef herds and can negatively impact the health and productivity of young calves.   Cryptosporidium Data from the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) helps us to understand just how large the impact cryptosporidium has on the livestock industry.  Dairy: 2014 survey of 2,323 fecal samples found 43.1% of samples to test positive for Crypto. Pre-weaned calves are most susceptible and usually break between 7-21 days of age. Crypto is more likely to be shed in the...

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Dr. Jennifer Trout completed her undergraduate degree at Penn State University and received her Veterinary Degree in Florida. She began practice in Tulare, CA, and then went on to Stephenville, Dalhart, and Hereford, TX, and Washington state. 2 years ago, in September Dr. Trout and her husband moved back home to the family dairy farm in Maryland. She is heavily involved in all the work at the dairy and now practices in a mixed animal clinic in town. We have a real treat this week as Dr. Trout gives her insight into how to manage cattle as we move into...

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