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Importance of Water-Dairy Calves

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July 23  |  Dairy, Farm, Farmers, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

Following is an excellent and timely article from Progressive Dairyman magazine –

The award-winning magazine’s editors and contributors provide compelling features, helpful articles, insightful news analysis, and entertaining commentary about the people, practices and topics related to a dairy lifestyle.

Why high-quality water matters for calf success

Contributed by Ellan Dufour Published on 30 May 2018

Often overlooked, water is the most important nutrient for dairy calves. It is required for all of life’s processes including the transport, digestion and metabolism of nutrients, the elimination of waste materials and excess heat from the body, and the maintenance of a proper fluid-ion balance in the body.

The role of water in young calves

Offering calves free-choice water is critical for stimulating rumen development, improving grain fermentation and promoting starter intake. The quality of water offered can play a major role in calf health and nutrient utilization.

Rumen development: Unlike milk and milk replacer, water consumed by young calves is transported to the rumen rather than the abomasum. Water in the rumen provides a medium for ruminal bacteria to ferment starter feed, grain and hay. Rumen development is slowed in the absence of water.

Improved growth: Calves offered free-choice water in addition to their liquid diet are shown to gain weight faster and consume dry feed quicker than calves only receiving water through their milk or milk replacer.

Calf health: Calves are about 70 to 75 percent water by bodyweight and need to consume fresh water in order to maintain normal cellular functions. Dehydration can lead to weakness, severe weight loss and even death. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry mouth and nose, tacky gums, depressed demeanor, irregular pulse and cold legs and ears.

How much and when?

  • Pre-weaning: On average, calves consume 1 quart of water per pound of dry matter intake.
  • Post-weaning: Calves should consume 2 quarts of water per pound of dry matter intake. This ratio should extend through the heifer growing period.
  • Hot weather: Expect water consumption to increase by 33 percent or more as temperatures reach the high 70s, and anticipate it may double as temperatures pass 90ºF.

Factors affecting water quality

Offering poor-quality water to the young calf may impact water consumption and starter intake, calf health, rumen development and the value of milk replacer and electrolytes. There are many criteria involved in assessing water quality. These include organoleptic properties (odor and taste), physiochemical properties (pH, total dissolved solids [TDS], total soluble salts and hardness), presence of toxic compounds, presence of excess minerals or compounds (see Table 1), and presence of bacteria.

Hardness: Calves are very sensitive to sodium and struggle to tolerate excess sodium levels. Soft water or hard water that has passed through a water softener can have very high concentrations of sodium and should not be used to mix milk replacer or be offered as drinking water unless tested. High sodium levels can lead to neurological diseases and central nervous system derangement in young calves.

Osmolarity: In situations where total solids are high in milk or milk replacer (over 15 percent), offering high-quality water can sustain the osmotic equilibrium in a calf. High total solids can force water out of cells in an effort to find osmotic balance within the gut and can result in diarrhea and severe dehydration. Water provision is especially important for calves fed an accelerated milk replacer program to ensure proper hydration.

Bacteria: Coliform bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella may be present in poor-quality water or water contaminated by feces and can quickly and exponentially increase to dangerous levels in a calf if consumed. In both cases, calves may suffer from severe dehydration and diarrhea. Salmonella may also result in pneumonia and septicemia in infected animals. Water with high iron content is at an increased risk of salmonella contamination.

Minerals: Calves are more sensitive to elevated mineral levels than adult cattle, making excessive mineral concentrations in drinking water a particular concern. Upper concentrations and maximum tolerable concentrations of minerals for dairy cattle are shown in Table 1 (below).  Minerals of particular concern when in high concentrations include cobalt, copper, iron, hydrogen sulfide, manganese and sulfur.

Take-home messages

  • Ensure calves are consistently provided with clean, fresh, and readily available water.
  • Keep water buckets clean and free of contamination from starter feed and feces.
  • Know the least expensive and most efficient method available to modify mineral and microbial concentration of water offered to calves.
  • Check your water quality frequently. At minimum, water fed to calves should be tested annually.

 

Ellan Dufour is a dairy research nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds.Source: https://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/calves-heifers/why-high-quality-water-matters-for-calf-success

 

 

To download a pdf version of this article, please click here

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Video

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June 25  |  crops, Dairy, Farm, Farmers, food safety, Immune System, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

We invite you to view our short 3 minute presentation to introduce you to Puroxi Pure Water Global Inc. ~ an international company recognized as a leader in Water Treatment for farms, crops, residential, municipal, commercial applications.

 

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A Tribute to Dairy Farmers

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April 23  |  Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Farmers, Opinion  |   Webmaster

This page is dedicated to Dairy Farmers as a tribute and acknowledgement for their hard work, dedication, and care.  We admire and respect all farm operators, especially family operations which take pride in providing us all with safe, nutritional food.

While Puroxi Pure Water Global has expanded its reach with new products, systems, throughout international markets, we will always have a special fondness for farm operators, particularly dairy farmers.  This hardy savvy group was the first to see the benefits of our product and appreciate the results.

Dairy farmers work hard every day to bring you and your family fresh, great tasting, wholesome milk products.  Almost all dairies are family-owned, and as active members of their communities, farm families take pride in feeding our country and maintaining natural resources.  That means preserving the land where they live and work, protecting the air and water they share with neighbors, and providing the best care for their cows—the lifeblood of their business.

Read more at www.dairyfarming.org

dairy farmer

Some Dairy Facts:

• Average number of cows in milking herd: 70

• Canada has 12,529 dairy farms with almost 1 million cows

• Canadian dairy farmers sell an average of 7.31 billion litres of milk annually to processors

• Three main processors process approximately 80% of the milk produced in Canada

• There are approximately 450 milk processors in Canada

• 700 kinds of cheese are made in Canada

• Sales of milk and dairy products contribute $10 billion to the Canadian economy

• Ontario’s milk production in 2012 was 2.6 billion litres of milk

• The farm gate value of milk from Ontario’s dairy farms is about $1.9 billion annually and  accounts for about 19 per cent of the province’s agricultural production

• Licensed dairy farms in Ontario as of December 2012: 4,100

• Average age of Canadian dairy farmers: 47

• Number of dairy cows in Ontario in 2012: 315,000 milking cows plus 173,000 heifers over one year old.

~ Facts courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Read more about dairy families here:

http://www.prairiefarms.com/about-families-helping-families.aspx 

Following are some other links to information, fact sheets, videos and more, to help you understand a dairy farmer’s life & perspective …

Watch the real life stories of the dairy farmers behind 100% Canadian milk

Life on the Farm

Dairy Farmers of Canada

So God Made a Dairy Farmer

Dairy Farmers of Canada

Ask a Dairy Farmer

Myths vs. Facts

Dairy Nutrition Facts

2014 Milk Calendar 


Farmers’ Voice is a blog that gives Canadian dairy farmers a place to share their stories and talk about life on a dairy farm, in their own words. Written by dairy farmers who provide milk that is among the best in the world, Farmers’ Voice offers an insider perspective on subjects that matter to farmers.  See http://www.dairyfarmers.ca/farmers-voice/

 

 

 

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Letter to the Dairy Industry

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August 27  |  Dairy, Editorial, Latest News, Newsletters, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Dairy farms are always busy overcoming challenges in their operations.  This year’s severe drought has dramatically emphasized the value and necessity of clean, safe water.

Our company’s focus is the quality of water and how it can contribute to better health in all animals and humans in agriculture, residential and municipal applications. Our product has been on the market for 15 years and thousands of farms now use our product on an ongoing basis with major success.

Over the past few years I have watched the Dairy Industry go through some trying times. Expenses of all kinds keep increasing, while milk prices are not. A fair margin of profit on a consistent basis for dairy farms doesn’t seem to matter to legislators and consumers.

In light of this and other ongoing challenges, what we do is help dairymen with their water. There are many reasons that water is very important to them. When you think of the fact that milk is 85% to 90% water and a milking dairy cow drinks an average of 25-30 gallons a day, how important is the water?  In fact, dairy cows actually drink more water than eat food.  It is only fair to note that many parts of the dairy play an important role to the success for those hard working owners:  feed/THM’s  (with micro toxins taken into consideration), the environment, bedding, ventilation, hoof health, fly control, stray voltage, mastitis, SCC,  just to name a few.  All of these play a big part in a dairy cow’s health and the profit & survival of the dairy operation. The list is more comprehensive than mentioned here, however, you get the point.  The belief we have, is that water is the most important for a dairy cow; without water there is just no farm. Water is the largest consumed item on a farm. Bacteria and organic matter build up and multiply very quickly.  Bacteria build slime which coats the plumbing and attaches and multiply very fast. Parasites feed on this slime and when ingested they can become a hindrance in the health of your cow.  We like to remind people that bacteria never take vacations!  They are always ready to take advantage of a suitable, vulnerable environment.

Our system is very simple.  We always start with a water analysis, and we do this by using an independent lab.  This process gives the Dairy Farmer peace of mind about the validity of an unbiased report.  Our Dealers come to the location, take the sample and either drop it off or send it to the lab.  The water report analysis is usually ready in 5 business days. Water reports are a critical first step. The evaluation of the report is then analysed at no charge to the Dairy.  After analysis, we review the specific issues may be affecting the quality and safety of their water. This is a critical time, since we are honest with the Dairy Owner and they need to be honest with us.  I personally have signed a non- disclosure agreement with customers; their business is their business and no one else’s.  We take our responsibility and trusting relationships very seriously.

With all the knowledge shared by both of us, we can do a more effective job for the dairy. We like to be considered as part of their team. Every dairy has a Veterinarian and a Nutritionist; these two professionals are very important to their success. We like to be considered as their water professional; the person taking care of another important component on their farm.   In fact, I am a certified water technician. 

We then develop a customized protocol for the farmer with a firm quotation.  This is based on the volume of water they use, the type of issues they have, and the amount of equipment that they need.

We also like to help in 3 ways:

  1. To clean your water and help with the process of having clean, clear and nutritional water.
  2. To clean and protect your plumbing.
  3. To help with the overall health of your animals.

With professionals like a Veterinarian, Water Physiologist, Nutritionist, Filtration Experts and Farmers as part of our team, there is a lot more to Oxy Blast than meets the eye. We do know that our customers see great results and we actually have a guarantee system that protects the customer from failing if we did not do our job. There is a protocol they have to follow after the water report in order to stay on track. 

You can just clean your water with the many different products available, however, when you clean it with the additional intention of addressing health concerns, it changes the value of what you are buying. Oxy Blast has a base of high quality Hydrogen Peroxide along with some stabilizing and proprietary ingredients, so it is not Hydrogen Peroxide as it is sometimes called, it’s Oxy Blast.  The base product has improved over the years, to address new technology as it comes along. This keeps the product at the forefront of industry dynamics and its effectiveness and ahead of our competition.   

Farms are also always looking for ways to solve their calve problems.  Many farmers add Oxy Blast to the milk replacer as it helps with scours and the immune system. One thing I would like to mention is that we cannot promise a milk increase to every farm, because it depends on many factors, as you know.  If one factor is not right, the other factor can be simply a band-aid solution against the negative results of that factor. However, we have seen a milk increase after a period of time on many farms. The average has been anywhere from 2 to 5 lbs.  We would like to guarantee a milk increase or even elimination of all the farmer’s problems including better milk prices. However, all we can focus on is the principle of cleaner, safer water, and better water for consumption and hopefully all of the rest falls into place.  We invite you all to watch our short 3 minute movie, which explains who we are and what we do. Please go to http://www.oxyblast.org/movie and give us a call if we can help.

Thanks for your interest.

 

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It’s all about the Drought!

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August 26  |  crops, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Newsletters, Opinion  |   Webmaster

Unless we’ve been in a cave or in outer space for the past few weeks, we are all aware of the severe drought that has been plaguing the Midwest.  Actually, you can see its effects from space:

 http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/us-drought-so-bad-nasa-can-see-it-space.html

This is the worst drought since 1988 and may go on record for causing the worst economic and social effects since the infamous 1930s “Dustbowl”.  It may take years to recover as a nation, but many small & medium size farms may not survive it.

The USDA is issuing weekly updates …

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/08/24/agricultural-weather-and-drought-update-%e2%80%93-82412/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=DISASTER_ASSISTANCE

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

It’s estimated that this current drought is affecting over 68% of farmland and over 80% of essential crops in those areas, especially corn, hay, soya beans, etc.  And the effects will be felt across the nation with rising food prices and a strained federal budget to try and offset some of the losses.  Thank God for crop insurance!  Payouts from this year’s drought are expected to set record levels.  Unfortunately, livestock producers and dairy farmers have no such safety net.  Various government levels have tried to open up reserve land for grazing, water-sharing programs, meat buying programs, etc. but it is a drop in the bucket.  Clean water and grazing lands are becoming scarce and feed corn and hay have doubled in price since 2010.

While the debate rages on about whether global warming is the cause or whether this is just one of earth’s cycles of change and the while the policy makers on Capitol Hill bicker about their partisan lobby interests, farmers and ranchers struggle to survive, waiting for the much anticipated Farm Bill to finally become law.  It may be too late or not enough for some.   These dedicated, hearty individuals are used to struggle and adversity and being dependent on Mother Nature.   But they don’t like to depend on any level government.  Emergency drought legislation would surely help right now.

Meanwhile, more and more farmers and ranchers are taking to the internet and social media to stay connected, updated, and to network with others, sharing stories, ideas, and recommendations.  In fact, they have their own hashtag on Twitter: #drought12.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/08/24/159999270/farmers-waiting-out-the-drought-tune-into-twitter

Yes, this has been and will continue to be a very tough year for those dear folks.  Next to oxygen and water, they are responsible for the most important ingredient for our life – FOOD!  We are grateful for their dedication, hard work and pioneer spirit and are proud to be a part of their operations.

Let’s all offer them whatever support we can and pray for them.

 

Following are some links of interest to this ongoing story.  There are many more.

 

http://cropwatch.unl.edu/croprss/-/journal_content/56/1841/4969212?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/24/us/drought-missouri-dairy-farmers/index.html

http://www.agprofessional.com/news/Farmers-persevering-through-drought-167350075.html

http://farmprogress.com/customPage.aspx?p=382

http://science.time.com/2012/07/18/how-the-drought-of-2012-will-make-your-food-more-expensive/

http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-of-drought-devastating-american-farmland-2012-7?op=1

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/drought/index.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/08/23/f-drought-climate-change.html

http://www.fb.org/

 

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Dairy Farmers left out in the heat with no assistance from govt.

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August 26  |  crops, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Livestock, Opinion  |   Webmaster

“Where’s the Beef?”

Dairy Farmers left to fend for themselves while partisan politics delay the Farm Bill.

No emergency drought assistance forthcoming.

 

The drought pushed fifth-generation dairy farmer Mark Argall out of the business    photo by Brandon Ancil/CNN

 

Small and medium sized dairy farms are barely hanging on, while some are selling off parts of their herd and others unwillingly going out of business, while Capitol Hill drags it feet in passing the omnibus Farm Bill.

The Obama administration earlier this month announced emergency drought assistance that included low-interest emergency loans; a federal buy-up of meat from livestock producers; and the opening up of some protected lands for livestock grazing.

None of those efforts are targeted at dairy farmers, however, dairy advocates say.

Farmers in southern Missouri are selling of dairy cows because their fields have dried up. photo by Brandon Ancil / CNN

 

Missouri’s governor, meanwhile, created a cost-share program to help farmers get access to water for their cattle, but McCallister said that’s more of a Band-Aid than a real solution.

Michael Scuse, under-secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said dairy farmers have not been offered enough of a safety net because Congress has not finalized an omnibus piece of legislation called the Farm Bill.

“Had we had a Farm Bill passed by now, there’s a very good chance we could offer some additional assistance” to dairy farmers who are struggling because of the drought, he said.

Several programs that deal with emergency assistance for livestock owners expired in September 2011; and an insurance program for livestock producers, which he said “never had adequate funding,” will be cut further in September and eliminated by October 1 unless new legislation is passed, he said.

 

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How much do you know about Milk?

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June 30  |  Dairy, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

Some very interesting facts about milk.  It’s been around for so long that we tend to take it all for granted.  The following link is a very informative infographic from the Dairy Council of California.

Thanks to Ellen, who posted it on her blog – 

http://www.durrerce.blogspot.fr/2012/06/how-much-do-you-know-about-milk.html

 

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Milk

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June 30  |  Dairy, News, Research  |   Webmaster

Following is a presentation from the Dairy Council of California.  It’s an excellent source of information about milk; one of our most precious commodites.  Enjoy!

Milk_program_2012.pdf

 

 

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Alternative to Antibiotics

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June 30  |  antibiotics, Case Studies, Dairy, Farm, food safety, Livestock, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

In an ongoing effort to reduce the dependence and amount of antibiotics used in farming, USDA scientists at College Station, TX have discovered that providing sodium chlorate in the drinking water or feed of livestock will reduce the intestinal concentrations of bacteria harmful to humans.

You can read a summary of the report here:  http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/usda-makes-progress-on-alternatives-to-antibiotics/

 

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Veterinary Group Reaffirms Support for Antibiotics Use

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April 23  |  antibiotics, Beef, Dairy, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Pork, Poultry, Research  |   Webmaster

While there are many sides and opinions to this ongoing debate, we are in full agreement with the following article. As stated in the AVMA statement, it  supports the prudent use of antibiotics: “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.” 

In other words, prudent use of antibiotics and other microbial products, should be made only when necessary, and not indiscriminately in feeds or in any other attempt to prevent illness and disease.  As medically and scientifically proven, the over-exposure to antibiotics eventually increases our resistance to them, thus diminishing their effectiveness and leaving us even more susceptible to infection and disease.  The key here is the definition of “productive uses” and the need for more direct involvement of the AVMA in advising and regulating the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials.

As mentioned in previous posts, any wide-encompassing and long-term policies should be “based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.” (sic)  (as evidenced by the recent uproar of LFTB).

Following is the full text of the statement by the American Veterinary Medical Association …

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reaffirmed its support of the responsible use of antibiotics in food animals after a federal court ruling demanded that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) start proceedings to withdraw approval of certain uses of antibiotics used in food production.

United States Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz ruled March 22 that the FDA must start proceedings to withdraw approval of what the FDA currently refers to as “production uses” of penicillins and tetracyclines in food-producing animals. As part of the withdrawal process, manufacturers of the products can request hearings to allow them to provide scientific evidence that the production use of antimicrobial products does not pose a threat to public health.

“The AVMA acknowledges the growing concern regarding antimicrobial use and resistance in animals and people, and supports the judicious use of antimicrobials to maximize public and animal health benefits while minimizing risks,” says AVMA Chief Executive Officer Ron DeHaven. “The judicious use of antimicrobials plays a key role in preserving the health of our nation’s food animals and the safety of our nation’s food supply. Many agree that there is a need for greater veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food-producing animals, and the AVMA is currently working with the FDA to develop practical means to increase this veterinary oversight.”

DeHaven cautions, however, that any decision to withdraw approval or ban any antimicrobial uses should be based on solid science and risk-based assessment, and not on anecdotal reports and speculation.

“It is crucial that safe and effective antimicrobials remain available for use in veterinary medicine to ensure the health and welfare of animals and, consequently, the health of humans,” DeHaven says. “The AVMA will continue to work closely with the FDA to formulate a sound, science-based strategy to deal with this complex issue.”

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 82,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. For more information about the AVMA, visit www.avma.org.


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