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Cows 365 Blog

October 2011 - Posts

  • Ayrshire Cross Holstein

    We scanned cows in a 200 cow herd of Ayrshire cross Holstein today, in Co. Cavan. The reproductive performance of this herd was excellent. This was an extreme pedigree Holstein herd 5 years previously and the overall health status was very poor. Crossbreeding improves hybrid vigour and the Ayrshire cross Holstein should be considered as an option. Dr Dan
  • First case of Q-Fever diagnosed in Ireland

    On a farm visit to a dairy herd in Co. Cavan today, a high proportion of freshly calved cows had infection of the uterine horn. The client revealed that a number of cows had slipped their calves. His vet submitted blood samples to the regional vet in Athlone. Q-Fever was the result given back to the client. This was the first case of Q-Fever diagnosed in Ireland. It causes approximately 17% of abortions in dairy herds in Germany. This herd previously had an outbreak of Neospora and the vet thinks that this may predispose the cows to Q-Fever. Dr Dan
  • Small dairy herds scanned in County Cavan

    Visited a series of small dairy herds between Ballyconnell and Belturbet, in Co. Cavan. Farm sizes were less than 100 acres, fragmented, small size and prone to long winters. Grass based production systems are difficult in this area. Farmers prefer a high production type cow, and to feed concentrates to meet the additional demand for milk production. Dr Dan
  • High incidence of uterine infections.

    Scanned a Holstein dairy herd outside Naas, Co. Kildare today. A high proportion of cows, had a high incidence of uterine infections post calving. This was associated with high concentration of potassium silages fed at the dry cow period. Dr Dan
  • Donor cows not suited for superovulation

    Visited a farm outside Roscrea, Co. Tipperary today. Where a herd of donor cows amalagated from varies source's throughout Ireland, were on a diet management programme, prior to superovulation. Scanning revealed cows that were either not suited for superovulation or required a reduced dose regime for superovulation. Dr Dan
  • The chat with the cup of tea after scanning

    Visited a farm outside Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, after scanning we went in for a cup of tea and talked to Willsy Maher. Willsy enjoyed the many social trips around the world that were organised by Teagasc. On one occassion Willsy went to a trip in Switzerland where he got to visit a milking machine manufacturer. In this farm Willsy also got to taste over 40 varities of ice cream. Willsy stated that 'The ice cream would kill a bull'. Dr.Dan
  • Severe waterlogging

    Heavy rain over the past 72 hours, has resulted in severe waterlogging. Cattle have to be moved indoors, on most farms now. Driving through Tullamore now, it is pittyful to see Freisian cows steeped in muck around a ring feeder. This farmer may not be aware that this is against the law and does not present a nice picture of healthy food production. Dr.Dan
  • Milk price war

    Visited a client outside Tralee. He informed me that Connacht Gold and Arrabawn are supplying milk at 1 Euro for 2 litres which are then supplying shops. This price war suits the large multiples who used to sell milk, as a loss leader to get customers back into the shops. Now they are in a position to make it a profit on milk sold and draw customers into there shops. Dr Dan
  • Severe outbreak of TB

    Visited a client outside Tralee today who had many reproductive problems with freshly calved cows. There was a severe outbreak of T.B. in an outside farm where his dry cows and spring heifers were on grazing ground. The client did not feed them dry cow minerals as he was afraid of badgers accessing same and causing further T.B. outbreaks. My advice here would be to use mineral boluses for the dry cow period. Dr.Dan
  • Scanning in Kerry

    We scanned a herd of suckler cows outside Dingle. Many of the cows scanned pregnant subsequently lost their pregnancies. The herd was checked for BVD.1 weanling was diagnosed as a P.I. This calf was running with the cows while they were being bred. Of the first 26 calves born 14 had been diagnosed as P.I.'S for BVD. This will result in devastation of the family farm income. Dr Dan
  • Cross Breeding programme introduced.

    Visited a dairy farm today as a follow up to a previous visit to scan in excess of 50 maiden heifers. This farmer was milking in excess of 100 cows of Holstein Friesian genetics. He has decided to introduce a cross breeding programme using Swedish Red and Jersey bloodlines. In my opinion the in calf heifers were too small, and the same problems will pertain with the same animals in the dairy herd. Target weights need to be achieved throughout all stages of the production cycle. This farmer claimed that these crossbred animals would be more suited to his wet outside farm on a hill. Based on the poor reproductive performance in his dairy cows his problems will disappear with crossbreeding. Dr Dan @
  • Pneumonia cases on the increase

    On visits to dairy farms in Limerick today, clients have stated that the number of cases of pneumonia has increased over the past week. We have had dramatic temperature changes between high and low temperatures. This stress has caused increased bronchial infections. Dr Dan
  • Holstein bull calves making good money.

    Holstein bull calves making €250.00 each. On a farm visit outside Cork today. The client informed us that he sold 20 Holstein bull calves for €250 which was 6 weeks old. This is an excellent price for this type of calf. Dr Dan
  • Do not judge the book by the cover!

    Visited a new client between Mallow and Killarney. The farm entrance was full of potholes and the yard around the milking parlour left a lot to be desired. However, the scan revealed an empty rate of below 5% for a 15 week breeding period in a herd of 80 cows. These cows were in excellent body condition score, the cows were supplemented with ration made of concentrates and silage from the 1st of September. Dr Dan
  • Fertility problems helped post calving.

    Visited a large dairy herd outside Cashel Co. Tipperary, where the client informed me that he now feeds 30 grams of Cal Mag 30 days prior to calving. He also gives cows one third of the milking cow ration during the same period. He claims that this has helped fertility problems post calving. Dr Dan
  • Scanning reveals the impact of uterine scar tissue on dairy cows.

    Visited a farm outside Moate in Co. Westmeath. Where a client presented 120 cows, for pregnancy, aging and sexing, and identification of empty cows. 30 cows out of 120 were empty, 20 of the empty cows had scar tissue present on the lining of the uterus, which was associated with impaired reproductive performance. The farmer informed me that the cows had been fed fodder beet prior to calving and this resulted in a tremendous amount of scouring. There may be an association between the two events which warrants further information. Dr Dan
  • Milk for pigs in a superlevy situation

    Visited a dairy farm outside Kilbeggan Co. Westmeath. 2 sows were lying fast asleep alongside the crush where we were scanning. I was surprised they did not create a rumpous with all the activity. The client told me they had just got 10 gallons of milk this morning. He said it was one way to sort a superlevy problem. Dr Dan @
  • When Is A Teaser Bull Not A Teaser Bull

    Visited a dairy farm in Co. Monaghan today, where the client was using A.I. with the aid of a teaser bull for heat detection. A number of the pregnancies were scanned for age and sex. Classifications were different than that expected by the client. The client told me that he was using a non casterated non weanling bull calf for heat detection. The client felt that this bull would not able to serve cows. Unfortunately, he was wrong and now runs the risk with calving difficulty, with Charloais Cross calves. Dr.Dan
  • End of the road for a dairy farm in Co. Monaghan.

    Today for the final time, it felt somewhat like a wake, as the client explained the decision to sell the cows, these were part of the family. Due to family circumstances they were left with no option but to sell them. They would prefer all cows to go to one home, which in my opinion is exemplary. Dr.Dan @
  • Sunday Mass suit can last a long time for some farmers

    Visited a client in Co. Antrim. He informed me that two of his uncles farmed all of their life together. One of them died recently, the remaining brother took out his only suit which he had worn to his mothers funeral, 30 years previously. He had a pair of shoes to go with the same suit, they felt a bit tight, but made more comfortable by removing some of his corns. Dr.Dan @
  • Scanning reveals adverse affects of superovulation.

    Visited 3 clients over the past days, which had superovulated either dairy cows or heifers. In all 3 cases there were abnormalities in the reproductive tracts associated with the superovulation regime. In my opinion, animals should be assessed using diagnostic scanning prior and post superovulation. Dr.Dan @
  • Johnes disease in dairy cows.

    On a farm visited in County Kerry, scanning a herd of dairy cows a large number of the cows were in poor BC. The client informed me that a number of the cows had lost tremendous condition and could not put BC on the cows. Two cows died and a postmortem on the lat cow revealed that she had Johnes disease. This is a sever debilitating disease with no treatment of same. Preventative management practices include strict control on colostrum to kill the organism. Diagnosis of the disease from milk to dung samples is difficult and unreliable in younger animals. Dr Dan @
  • Outbreak of TB

    Farm visits started today in Doonbeg County Clare, a major worry on many of the farms visited was the outbreaks of TB causing herd depopulations. On one of the farms visited the farmer was involved in TB.eradication schemes. They are monitoring the movement of badgers as a causative feature of eradicating TB. Dr.Dan @
  • Consumption of ferns by pregnant cows can cause abortions.

    Visited a dairy herd outside Dripsey, County Cork this morning where a herd of dairy cows were presented for scanning. Of those presented, some had foetal deaths and abortions in the previous week. The client informed me that the cows had broken into an area where there were ferns and consumed same. It was in the clients opinion that this was associated with the foetal deaths and abortions encountered. Dr.Dan @
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