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Animal Health

All Animal Health Content

Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.


South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

A black calf nursing from a black and white cow with mixed cattle in the background.

Implanting Nursing Calves

Implanting nursing calves has consistently shown to be an effective way to post greater calf weights at weaning time. In fact, implanting has the greatest return on investment of any other technology, which ultimately makes the decision of which implant to use of lesser importance than the decision to implant.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Importance of Proper Forage Sampling

As dairymen and livestock caretakers, we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat. Without knowing the quality of the feedstuff or forage we are feeding, it becomes difficult to balance a ration to ensure the animal is receiving the proper amounts of needed nutrients.

Large fans helping to keep Dairy Cattle cool in a livestock housing facility.

Combating Heat Stress in Lactating Dairy Cows

With summer temperatures and higher humidity levels upon us, dairy producers need enact their heat abatement strategies on farm for all livestock.

Male and female rancher reviewing clipboard in a cattle barn.

COVID-19 Tips for Farms and Ranches

Continuing to keep employees and family members healthy through the COVID-19 pandemic will require extra effort as you enter the busy time of fall harvest.

A dairy cow at the front of a small heard looking straight forward.

Public Perception and Animal Well-Being

So you ask why is public perception and animal well-being important? Well, did you know that there is just a little over 1% of the population involved in production agriculture, today? Did you know that 98% of the people have no direct connection with how their food is produced?

Dutch Dakota Dairy at Lake Preston South Dakota is inundated with snow after a recent blizzard that has made farm facility access very difficult due to extreme snow depth. Courtesy: Truus Schukking

Available Disaster Resources Given Recent Weather Events

Given the recent havoc endured by producers in the upper mid-west by the spring blizzard or even prior flooding we are aware that many producers have incurred losses. There are several programs available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help provide assistance.

Group of black and white, spotted dairy cattle drinking from a water trough.

Water Importance in Lactating Dairy Cows

When considering the importance of water in lactating cow diets, we need to remember that milk is 87 percent water, and its consumption is directly correlated with milk production and feed intake. Water also makes up anywhere from 55 percent to 70 percent of the body weight of a lactating dairy cow, depending upon the phase of the lactation cycle.

A red and white holstein calf, looking through the fence from its calf hutch on a sunny, summer day.

Understanding and Mitigating Heat Stress in Young Dairy Animals

We often don’t focus as much on heat stress in young dairy calves and tend to focus more on cold stress. However, it is just as important and producers or calf raisers should have a plan in place to help mitigate heat stress in these animals also.

Milk Replacer being stored poorly on the floor in a facility. Courtesy: Tracey Erickson

Ensuring Quality Milk Replacer Through Proper Storage

Milk is the source of nutrients in newborn mammals. When mother’s milk is not available, a milk replacer is utilized. To ensure the proper growth and health of the young newborn, it is critical provide a quality milk replacer and proper storage of this product is a key component for success.