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TheDairySite Newsletter - 14 November 2014

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Friday 14th November 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Risks and Rewards of Grouped Calf Housing

Group calf housing is becoming increasingly popular in the US but, in order to tap into the benefits, hygiene and cleanliness are a must.

While grouping calves brings labour and welfare benefits, a Virginia Tech University researcher has warned that care and attention are required to make group housing worthwhile.

The benefits of feeding a group also give chance for calves to play and learn together, said postgraduate researcher Alyssa Dietrich.

On the risk side, calf to calf contact increases disease risk, and while poor ventilation threatens every indoor calf, it is particularly threatening when calves can touch noses frequently, she added.

“Nose to nose contact between group housed calves allows them to transfer disease easily,” explained Ms Dietrich.

“Furthermore, it may be more difficult for employees to monitor individual calf health, since they are not being fed individually.”

Best practice starts with ensuring calves are healthy when entering a group pen.

“Success starts at the freshening pen, which needs to be clean and well-bedded,” added Ms Dietrich.

“Colostrum management is obviously important for calf health in any rearing system but is especially critical in group housing systems.”

Milk feeding equipment should be cleaned along with waterers, bedding and grain troughs, with stocking density also important to ensuring healthy calves.

An ‘all in-all out’ system should be used, allowing for pen sanitisation, Ms Dietrich added.

These measures allow healthy calves while more milk can be delivered at one time, without increasing labour requirements.

Furthermore, several research studies attest to grouped calves showing less stress from handling and relocation compared to single calves.

Eurotier Digital 2014

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Ireland's Dairy Story: Expanding Sustainably
Expansion is on the cards in Southern Ireland, but a County Cork family is looking to minimise the impacts of almost doubling output.

How Does Grain-based Concentrate Allocation and Pasture State Impact Intake and Milk Production in Dairy Cows Grazing Kikuyu and Ryegrass Pasture?
Constant access to fresh pasture is best, says an Australian researcher after scrutinising grazing and grain based concentrate diets in lactating cows.

BVD Vaccinations Improve Reproductive Performance
A 45 per cent decrease in abortion and significantly lower rates of fetal infection were reported in cattle vaccinated for bovine viral diarrhea virus.

How to Make Group Calf Housing Work For You
Group housing of calves is growing in popularity across US dairies, meaning a switch is made from individual hutches.

Company News

Merck Animal Health Launches ‘Creating Connections’ to Improve Cattle Well-Being
GLOBAL - Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) today announced the launch of Creating Connections, a new program designed to help producers better understand cattle behavior and use that knowledge to employ strategies that can reduce stress, improve reproduction and foster stronger immune responses.
Stunning 3D Chalk Art Captures Changing Perceptions of Diagnostics
US - During the recent American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians/U.S. Animal Health Association meetings in Kansas City, Missouri, Thermo Fisher Scientific brought to life a new way to look at diagnostics.
Mastitis Cost Calculator app
EU - It’s always better to prevent than to cure.
Market Reports

UK Milk Statistics November 2014
Irish CSO Agricultural Price Indices September 2014
UK Farming Statistics 6 November 2014

Global Dairy Industry News


Indigenous Breed Could Bolster Farm Income
Asia’s Largest Livestock Fair Kicks Off In Patna
New Zealand Minister Meets Indian Agriculture Minister

   New Zealand

Value of Dairy Sector Questioned By Green Party

   United States

Industry-leading Technologies Showcased on Innovation Dairy Tour
Research into Challenging Livestock Influenza Virus
CME: 2015 Beef Production Estimates Lowered
What's in Store for 2015? Farm Economics Summit Scheduled
NFU Urges Passage of Tax Extenders Package

   United Kingdom

New Common Agricultural Policy Update
£20.5 Million to Combat Global Animal Disease
TB Testing Work Up for Tender
British Farming 'Wastes' Nearly £300 Million on Oil
Greater Collaboration Needed Between Research and Farm
UK's Dairy Crest Sells Dairy Operation to Focus on Cheese, Butter, Spreads
UK Farm Business Innovation Expo Returns to Olympia


Australian Vets Call For Careful Use of Antibiotics


Call for Cooperation to Rebuild Markets
EUROTIER: Seeking Solutions to Antibiotic Resistance
EUROTIER: Forum for 21st Century Animal Husbandry
EUROTIER – Global Concerns for a Growing International Farming Sector
EUROTIER – New Milking Teat to Reduce Mastitis


China Opens Up to Chilean Live Cattle and Beef

   European Union

Support for Flexibility of EU Countries to Ban GMO Crops


Consumers Demand Piece of Mind on Welfare, Says Study
Animal Welfare and Sustainability Inextricably Linked
FAO Food Price Index Stabilises in October
New Guide for Better Detection of Animal Health Risks
Bluetongue Affects 82 Cattle Across Europe this Week


NFU and Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana


Support Rumen Development with Chopped Straw


Spanish Bluetongue Identified as Two Strains


Colombian Rabies Vaccination a Must, Says Government

   Dominican Republic

Nestle Commits to Bovine Traceability


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
EuroTier 2014
VIV Asia 2015
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