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Dairy Cattle

All Dairy Cattle Content

five beef cows standing in a pasture

Livestock Newsletter

SDSU Extension publishes the Livestock Newsletter to provide South Dakota producers, industry professionals and consumers with timely research-based recommendations.

Labeled cooler and vaccines ready for anyone who is loading syringes.

Keeping Your Vaccines Viable

Vaccines are a vital part of keeping all livestock healthy. Vaccines help in the prevention of disease, which results in less utilization of antibiotics due to fewer sick animals. A valid vet-client-patient relationship will help you as you select the vaccine of choice for your livestock health program.

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.

A green tractor pulling a red wagon next to a pile of wet distillers grains.

Storing Wet and Modified Distillers Grains

One of the primary challenges for livestock producers in the coming months could very well be feedstuff cost and availability due to the fact that the corn planted acreage and crop progress are both well behind normal benchmarks. One opportunity that might help cattle feeders proactively secure feed supplies would be storing wet or modified distiller’s grains now to be fed at a later date.

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.

Bar graph outlining laminitis treatment in 10 herds by month and cause. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

Dietary Carbohydrates in Heat-Stressed Dairy Cows

Rumen acidosis results from an excessive acid load in the rumen not neutralized by salivary or feed buffers. Changes in physiology, metabolism, and behavior of heat-stressed cows increase their susceptibility to both sub-acute (SARA) and acute acidosis.

A spotted, black-and-white dairy cow with yellow callouts explaining symptoms of heat stress, including: rumen acidosis, reduced milk production, lameness, less intake & less chewing plus bicarbonate losses reduces human pH. Panting increases, respiration rate, loss of carbon dioxide (metabolic alkalosis) loss of saliva's bicarbonate (drooling), increased water losses.

Dealing With Heat Stress in Dairy Cows

Alleviating heat stress is critical to milk production. Heat stress from high environmental temperatures can be compounded by mistakes in managing and feeding cows. Water is your first concern during periods of high temperatures.

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.

Lush, green hay growing in a ditch alongside an oil road.

Ditch Hay: Harvesting, Quality, and Feeding

Using ditch hay to feed cattle is a common practice across the U.S. It provides livestock producers with a source of readily available forage, which can be very useful, particularly during feed shortages.

healthy rangeland with a diverse variety of grasses and plants throughout

SDSU Extension Hosts 2019 Forage Field Day in Beresford August 7

June 24, 2019

August 7, 2019 SDSU Extension will host a Forage Field Day for livestock producers, agronomists and industry clientele interested in producing and storing high quality forages.

Forage, Crop Management, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Corn, Wheat, Field Pea, Flax, Oats, Oilseed, Pulse Crops, Sorghum, Soybean, Sunflower