Bovine

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Strategy and the Beef Production Chain

Crafting strategy is not a task in which managers can get by with options, good instincts, and creative thinking. Judgments about what strategy to pursue need to flow from a thorough analysis of a company’s external environment and internal situation. When developing a strategy managers need to pose a set of questions: What is our vision for the company? Where should the company be headed? What should its future technology, product, or consumer focus be? What kind of enterprise do we want to...

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Welfare Issues in Beef and Dairy Cattle

Welfare issues of cattle are the subject of books, and it is not possible to do it true justice in this paper. But, I have attempted to identify some of the key problem areas so that readers might see the application of a welfare-centered philosophy in the way that they look at their work with livestock and livestock owners. First of all, some aren’t really sure what animal welfare means and worse yet, don’t necessarily recognize poor welfare when they’re looking at it. So, I begin with a...

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Physical Exam in Cattle – Part 2

CRANIAL NERVE EXAM Proceed with a systematic evaluation of the cranial nerves, beginning with the second cranial nerve. A menace response can be elicited in cattle, as with other species, by moving a hand or other object toward the eye. A positive response is blinking of the eye with or without an attempt to move. One must be very careful when examining cattle to not create wind with the hand or other object, as this may give a false menace response. Animals that cannot see can still...

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Update on Parasite Control in Cow-Calf Herds

BACKGROUND The key word in the title of this presentation is “control.” Eliminating parasites is nearly impossible in most cases and trying to do so can lead to anthelmintic resistance. The goal in controlling parasites is to minimize the economic impacts while allowing some exposure for immunity to develop and minimizing resistance. What are the impacts of internal parasites? It’s estimated that internal parasites cost the US cattle industry $2 billion per year. This does not...

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Periparturient Immune Suppression: Causes and Effects in the Cow

The transition from pregnant, non-lactating to non-pregnant, lactating is too often a disastrous experience for the cow. Most of the metabolic diseases of dairy cows— milk fever, ketosis, retained placenta, and displacement of the abomasum— occur within the first 2 weeks of lactation. In addition to metabolic disease, the majority of infectious disease experienced by the dairy cow, especially mastitis, but also diseases such as Johne's disease and salmonellosis, become clinically apparent...

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Welfare of Young Dairy Calves – Myths, Perceptions, and Realities

Animal welfare is the state of an animal as it attempts to cope with its environment. Humans interact or affect the animals through their activities and husbandry practices. Veterinarians have been advocates for animal welfare for years, long before it was ever defined as “animal welfare.” Just a few years ago, many of us confused the term with being in line with radical animal rights groups. Today, one of the biggest areas of research interest in universities is related to animal welfare....

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Overview of Metabolic Disease: Energy and Protein

Most of the metabolic diseases of dairy cows—milk fever, ketosis, retained placenta, and displacement of the abomasum—occur within the first 2 weeks of lactation. The etiology of many of those metabolic diseases that are not clinically apparent during the first 2 weeks of lactation, such as laminitis, can be traced back to insults that occurred during early lactation. In addition to metabolic disease, the overwhelming majority of infectious disease, in particular mastitis and metritis,...

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Low-stress Cattle Handling: an Overlooked Dimension of Management

Dr. Tom Noffsinger is senior partner of Twin Forks Clinic in Benkelman, Nebraska. His daily activities include consultation to beef feeding and cow-calf operations in the areas of health, performance, and animal behavior. Dr. Noffsinger earned his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University and completed the University of Nebraska’s Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center Beef Cattle Production Management Series. He received the AVC’s Consultant of the Year Award in...

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Dairy Stockmanship: Reconnecting the People With the Cows

The veterinary profession and dairy producers have taken a strong interest in dairy stockmanship—the interactions that occur between people and cows. The daily management of a dairy operation requires personnel to interact with the cattle many times a day. Dairy stockmanship is the implementation of low-stress cow handling techniques to improve the outcomes for both the people and the cattle. DAIRY STOCKMANSHIP In stockmanship terms stimulation of any kind on livestock is often referred...

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Improving Milk Quality – It’s Right Before Your Eyes

It has been known for hundreds of years that milk from cows and other ruminants provides an important nutritional resource. As population growth occurred throughout the world during the early 1800s, there were continuous attempts to make the collection of milk more efficient. Early attempts included locating farms in close proximity to population centers. During these times, labor was cheap and plentiful, so the idea of mechanization was not considered practical. It was only when the...

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