Dairy Herd Management Articles
Calf & Heifer Adviser Articles
Failure of passive transfer: It’s still a problem
Washington State University recently evaluated colostrum management on Washington dairy farms to estimate the prevalence of failure of passive transfer.
Serum samples were collected from 952 calves on 56 farms across Washington. The samples were taken from 18 calves aged two to seven days on each farm. Failure of passive transfer was evaluated by serum total protein using a refractometer. Passive transfer was considered failing if serum total protein was less than 5.2 g/dL.
Results show that 34 percent of calves evaluated had failure of passive transfer. This is almost double the 19 percent reported by the USDA National Animal Health Monitoring Study for Dairy in 2007. Twenty-percent of herds had less than 20 percent of calves with failure of passive transfer, while 44 percent of herds had greater than 30 percent of calves with failure of passive transfer.
Study results could indicate a higher level of passive transfer failure than normally seen because herds participating in the study may have agreed to participate because the herd had colostrums management problems they wanted to address, notes researchers.
Several management factors were found to increase the risk of passive transfer failure.
Reduce the risk of failure of passive transfer by designating personnel for colostrum harvest and feeding, evaluating colostrum quality and question the practice of adding colostrum supplements to maternal colostrum.
How effective is your pasteurizer?
New work from Penn State University evaluates the effectiveness of calf milk pasteurization. Researchers measured bacteria counts in the milk before and after pasteurization and in the milk fed to calves to see just how effective pasteurization was.
Six different farms ranging in size from 500 to 2,000 cows participated in the study; none of which routinely monitored pasteurizer performance.
Results show that pasteurization can be an effective tool for reducing the number of bacteria in milk. Researchers reported that for all of the bacteria counts measured, more samples met the goal after pasteurization than before and all counts were lower after pasteurization.
Despite the fact that bacteria levels after pasteurization were reduced, researchers found when they sampled milk from the calf buckets at feeding fewer samples met bacteria goals. All types of bacteria were higher in samples pulled from calf buckets than in pasteurized milk. Specifically for environmental staphylococci, bacteria counts in the samples taken from the buckets after pasteurization were as high as those in raw milk prior to pasteurization.
Study authors concluded that this is a good indicator that milk is frequently contaminated between pasteurization and feeding.
This research is discussed in depth in the December issue of the Penn State Dairy Digest. Read more.
FDA seeks court order against:Michigan dairy Government alleges cattle sold for human consumption contained illegal drug residues
Pennsylvania dairy farm agrees to stop improper medication:
FDA takes action against New York dairy farmer: Proprietor sold animals with illegal drug residues in violation of federal law.
This is a serious issue with lasting implications for your business. Here is what’s at stake. Full story.
Only you can stop drug residues
The number of drug residues that occur in meat is very small — 0.003 percent of all cattle slaughtered. However, cull dairy cows are the No. 1 violator when it comes to drug residues. And, it’s an issue that the dairy industry must take care of without further delay.
Any level of drug residue is unacceptable, says Mike Apley, a veterinary clinical pharmacologist at Kansas State University. And, if we do not address the issue, the dairy industry faces serious consequences. (See “Time to take action.")
The good part is that it’s not difficult to prevent residues from occurring. But it will take commitment and due diligence on your part to prevent them. Full story.
Health Watch - Main
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