ANC’s Top 14 of 2014

This has been quite the year for the dairy industry and for ANC! With a change of ownership, came many unique challenges and opportunities.  We’ve updated our entire identity in 2014, and are so excited to continue being a leader in the dairy nutrition industry in the years to come. To celebrate the year and reflect back on all of the dairy topics that were relevant in 2014, we have compiled a list of the most popular ANC blog posts from the year!  Top 14 Blog Articles from 2014: 14. Know the Warning Signs for Rumen Acidosis in Dairy Cattle – Sep. 3, 2014 Dairy cattle and other ruminants have a unique digestive system allowing them to digest feeds that are high in sources of fiber that are indigestible in the diets of non-ruminants.   The cow’s rumen plays a critically important role in digesting these high fiber feeds. Read more… 13. Comfort Factors Effect Laying Behavior – Aug. 20, 2014 You probably have often heard that humans require about eight hours of sleep per night. If we don’t get enough rest, we have trouble performing to the best of our abilities. This statement also holds true for cows. Cows should lay down about 14 hours per day in order for them to rest and ruminate so that they can produce at their best level.  Read more… 12. Join Us in Going Beyond for Dairy! – Sep. 10, 2014 World Dairy Expo is right around the corner.  This year ANC has some big plans to share with you.  We will be rolling out our brand new look, with the initiative...

A Calf’s Christmas Wish List

Presents with the Newborn Calf in Mind Newborn calves are accustomed to living in a “climate controlled” environment that is held at ~101.5 degrees.  For nine months they relied on their mom to supply all of their nutrition directly into their bloodstream.  Birth brings many dramatic and abrupt changes for the calf including developing the ability to regulate her own body temperature and learning to digest nutrients.   So here are a few perfect gift ideas for the newborn in your barn. Gift #1:  Provide colostrum within 90 minutes of birth Providing colostrum in the first few hours of life is critically important to providing passive immunity to the newborn calf.   It is easy to overlook the nutrient contributions of colostrum.   However, colostrum is nutrient rich containing 15% protein, 7% fat, 2.5% sugar, and a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.   This combination of nutrients “kick starts” the newborns digestive system and provides the calories the newborn needs to stay warm.   Colostrum is the perfect food for the newborn providing passive immunity and critically important nutrients. (Is colostrum the key to profitability?) Gift #2:   Deep-bedded, warm, draft free maternity pens Imagine getting out of a nice comfortable hot tub and jumping into a snow bank—for most of us this would be a very traumatic experience!  This is the sort of transition the brand new calf experiences when she is expelled from her mom.   Providing maternity pens that have a deep straw bed and little or no draft helps reduces the trauma that the baby calf experiences as she experiences the world outside of her mom. Gift #3: Heat...

Targeting Heifer Growth: How Big is Big Enough?

Traditionally the growth of calves and heifers has been tracked using tables and/or graphs where the goal for weight was based on the age of the heifer.   This system of benchmarking growth is based on the assumption that the mature bodyweight of all cows is equal.   In reality the variation in body weight of full grown cows is significant.  For example, mature Holstein cows can range in body weight from 1,300 to 2,000 lbs!  So to assume that at 6, 9, 12, or 18 months of age that a heifer that will grow to be 1,300 lbs. should have the same body weight as one of her pen mates that will weigh 2,000 lbs. when she is full grown is illogical. A better system of evaluating a heifer’s weight relative to her age is to benchmark her current weight against her estimated mature body weight.   A reasonable goal is to reach 85% of her mature weight at first calving.  To reach this goal a heifer needs to be 55% of mature weight at conception. This system of evaluating heifer body weight is referred to as the Targeted Growth System (TGS).  The table below shows benchmark weights based on the TGS. Desired Body Weights for Heifers using Targeted Growth System Target as % Mature Body Weight, lbs. Age, Months Mature Weight 900 1200 1500 1800 2100 13 55 495 660 825 990 1155 22 85 765 1020 1275 1530 1785 Note:  The target weight at 22 months is the weight of a fresh heifer and not the weight of a pregnant heifer. The range of mature body weights in the...

Go Beyond Forum: ANC puts Innovation into Action

Open any dairy magazine or attend any dairy seminar or conference and you are likely to see or hear the words innovative, innovation or innovate at least 100 times.  They are definitely the buzz words that will mark this part of the millennium.  At Agri-Nutrition Consulting (ANC) we live our mission of going beyond nutrition through innovative solutions.  Proudly we use the word innovative to express our resolve to improve, remodel, change and revolutionize how cutting edge science is applied in today’s dairy industry. In anticipation of the release of the 6.5 Biology by Cornell University, ANC found a need to connect the updated science, the leaders in amino acid nutrition, and the cutting-edge starch technologies with the innovators in the dairy nutrition industry.  Our goal was to cut through the hype and get to the heart of the matter. The first-ever Go Beyond Forum, held November 5, 2014, gave industry leaders and scientists the ability to talk directly to the most influential nutritionists. Nutritionists at the Forum were able to discuss and learn without the filters of advertising and marketing in order to get to the heart of the science, and learn about how to take full advantage of the tools and resources available to them. The forum included an introduction of the CNCPS 6.5 Biology by Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, and two panel discussions on Advances in Starch Nutrition and Amino Acid Nutrition. Panelists included Dr. Jack Garett, Dr. Patrick French, Dr. Tom Tylutki., Drew Johnson, Rick Bonander, Dr. Randy Shaver, Dr. John Goeser, and Courtney Heuer. Participants in the forum were encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts...

Is Sub-Clinical Ketosis Picking Your Pocket?

Ketosis is a common metabolic disease in fresh cows.  The clinical signs of ketosis include decreased appetite, weight loss, and decreased milk production.  When cows lose an excessive amount of weight they produce “ketone bodies” called β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA).   As these compounds build up in the blood stream cows experience ketosis. Cows with sub-clinical ketosis (SCK) show very subtle signs of the disease but will have elevated blood BHBA levels between 12.4 mg/dl to 30.9 mg/dl.  For this reason this disease often goes undetected but it can have a significant impact on a dairy farms bottom line.  The table below summarizes the impact of sub clinical ketosis.   Impact of Sub-Clinical Ketosis Lost Milk Production lbs/day 2 to 12 Milk lost to clinical ketosis is >12 lbs/cow Lost Milk lbs /lactation ~ 865 lbs Milk lost to clinical ketosis is >865 lbs/case/lactation Metritis 2 to 3.4 fold increase Days Open Increased Cystic Ovaries Increased incidence   There are a variety of tools for measuring BHBA in blood, milk, and urine.   Designing a consistent protocol for evaluating fresh cows and treating cows with SCK is important.  One such protocol is to check all cows twice during their first 7 days fresh and administering propylene glycol to cows with elevated BHBA.  Other protocols exist as well and your veterinarian can help you customize a monitoring program and treatment protocol for your herd. It is estimated that 40 to 60% of the fresh dairy cows in North America experience SCK. The economic impact of this disease is significant; estimates of the cost of ketosis range from $200 to 500/case (Fresh Cow...