The Udder Side

Everyone either has or is getting into small ruminants, whether sheep or goats. And there is a learning curve to having and caring for...

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How do we keep from leaving money on the table?

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Many types of squeeze chutes exist today, each with features that make cattle restraint easier.

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Eventually the snow will melt and spring will bring rain. Warmer weather and excessive ground water brings the perfect conditions for mosquito proliferation. There are approximately 50 species of mosquitoes native to Missouri according to the Department of Conservation. Even-though warm weather is usually associated with those pesky insects there are species active during every season of the year. The only reprieve is during freezing temperatures but warmer environments such as in the house or barn may allow mosquitoes to overwinter.

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May is just around the corner. Are you ready for spring bull turnout? Many of you are in the middle of calving and some may have just started. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of this calving season derail your next calf crop. The star(s) of your operation are the bulls, which are often ignored and forgotten most of the year. However, it is critical to have a plan prior to turnout as too how much bull power you will need versus how much you have. Simple questions to start the decision making process are: How many cows will need bred? How many groups are those cows divided into? How many heifers, and do you have a bull designated for your heifers? Are you going to synchronize the herd or heifers? Do you have a backup plan if your bull fails the Breeding Soundness Evaluation? What condition are your bulls in?

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Spring calving season is just around the corner. This also means calving problems and the need to intervene and assist in the delivery of the calf. While this may seem a straightforward procedure, many things can make for a more difficult and less successful outcome. Here are several mistakes made before, during and after calving that can lead to problems for the calf and the cow.

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The holidays always result in multiple calls to my clinic. This is the time of year that pets get into trouble eating things they should not. One of the most common toxins that we encounter is chocolate. Small animals seem to really enjoy consuming candy including wrappers. Many candies contain the toxin known as theobromine. The bitter cooking chocolate is higher in theobromine than the sweet. This is such a common problem I have an app, which allows me to calculate in a matter of a few minutes. A 30-pound dog consuming 2 ounces of baking chocolate is enough to be fatal. If your pet should consume chocolate contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Over the past several months, I have examined several beef cows that presented with chronic weight loss and diarrhea. Based on clinical findings, I decided to test several for Johne’s disease, and found cows from four separate farms that tested positive for the disease.

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Show season is upon us again. Remember show animals are exposed to more diseases as they are co-mingled with others. Vaccinations of these show animals are a must. Consult your veterinarian as to which vaccines are recommended.

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Recent weather conditions have raised several health problems for cattle producers. One of the most dramatic changes has been an increase in mastitis cases on dairy farms. Mastitis can be devastating to the economic well-being of a dairy operation, and successful treatment and control measures are needed to ensure financial stability, especially in the current economic environment.