Latest News From Maureen Hanson

A New Tool for Better Calf Transport

Real-time monitoring of the environmental conditions for baby calves during transport would be highly beneficial to their comfort and health. Now, that task is becoming a possibility.

New Antibiotic Rules Start in June

Beginning June 11, 2023, most livestock antibiotics will no longer be available over-the-counter. Ohio State University dairy veterinarian Kevin Jacque shares his thoughts on adapting to the new rules.

Does Acidification Improve Colostrum?

Acidification of milk or milk replacer is a common practice for some calf raisers, with some studies showing it improves weight gain and fecal scores in calves.

Could Feeding Bile Acids Provide a Better Pathway for Transition Success?

Supplementing early lactation dairy cow diets with bile acids could provide a pathway to suppressing fatty liver and ketosis, and ultimately boosting milk production and profitability.

Heifer Rearing and Retention

Penn State University offers a new app that can help with decision-making.

The Eyes Have It When Detecting Early Calf Respiratory Disease

Detecting respiratory disease in calves early – when treatment is most effective – should start by examining the head and facial features, according to veterinarian Tiago Tomazi with Merck Animal Health.

NASEM Addresses Dairy Feed Additives

Feed additives can be included in dairy cattle diets for a variety of reasons. However, feed additives should not be considered a cornerstone to any farm feeding program.

Micotil® Gets New Safety Packaging

The label change accommodates a change in packaging for the injectable cattle drug, which was designed to prevent accidental injection by human handlers, and promote human safety.

Probiotics Improve Early Weight Gain in an Automated Milk Feeder Study

Could probiotics improve early calf growth? Researchers think so.

Are We Over-vaccinating Beef-on-Dairy Calves?

Just because we have easy access to the thousands of beef-on-dairy cross calves eventually headed for feedyards doesn't mean we should be vaccinating them every week, according to Dan Thomson.

Reproductive Hormones Found to Impact Gut Microbiota

Could reproductive hormones have an impact on the gut microbiota of cattle.

Shorter Hauls Suggested for Traveling Calves

When baby calves are transported from their home dairy to a separate rearing site, they need support in multiple ways.

More Milk Could Mean Faster Healing for Young Calves

It has been well-documented that feeding preweaned calves on a higher plane of nutrition improves calf health and performance. However, providing calves more nutrients may also promote wound healing.

Caffeine Perks up Calves, Too

That jolt from your morning java also could be a handy helper in stimulating struggling newborn calves. Caffeine could help calves before they receive colostrum, or at other times when calves appear dull and lethargic.

A New Kind of “A.I.” for Dairies

Move over, artificial insemination. There’s a new “A.I.” in town, and it’s more intelligent than you.

HBS Avoidance Strategies

Sometimes called “sudden death syndrome” or “bloody gut,” Hemorrhagic Bowel Syndrome is characterized by dark, tarry, and sometimes bright red, bloody feces; dehydration; and decreased feed intake.

Transition Cows: It’s Tough Being the New Kid

The transition period, 3 weeks before and after calving, is challenging for all cows. But for first-calf heifers, it’s likely the scariest and most stressful time in their young lives.

The Beauty of Butyrate

When it comes to the products of rumen fermentation, butyrate is a beneficial amino acid superstar.

Helping Calves Eat Naturally

In our quest for healthy, growthy, efficiently raised calves, have we lost some of the more fundamental elements of what makes calves tick?

The Pros and Cons of Caustic Paste

University of Wisconsin animal welfare researcher Sarah Adcock addresses several considerations when using caustic paste to complete disbudding, as well as some drawbacks that could be improved upon.

Time to Break Out the Calf Jackets

Because newborn calves have very little body fat to help them stay warm, calf jackets can help them preserve energy, protect immunity and improve daily gain.

Are Dairy Crossbreds Harder to Calve?

Compared to Holsteins, is calving time with crossbreds more difficult in terms of calf weight, stillbirth, gestation length, or dystocia?

Colostrum May Have Yet Another Virtue: Scours Treatment

Effectively treating calves for scours could be as easy as feeding them something that virtually every dairy farm has on hand: colostrum.

Thermodynamics of Rumen VFA Studied

Researchers at Virginia Tech University have investigated what effects infusing extra acetate or propionate, or lowering the pH, would have on thermodynamics of VFA in the rumen.

An Easier Way to Temp Calves?

Monitoring calves’ body temperature is a critical metric to maintaining their health, and is especially valuable if temperature changes can be detected early.

Liver Biopsies Could Replace “Bugs and Drugs” Approach

What was once a relatively invasive and tedious procedure has become a potentially standard method of monitoring the health and nutritional status of dairy cows.

Tips for Preventing Neospora-induced Abortions

Neospora is the most commonly diagnosed cause of abortions in cattle both domestically and worldwide.

Researchers Explore Risks of Feeding Waste Milk

Feeding waste milk to calves captures high-quality nutrients and adds value to a product that otherwise would be discarded. But recent research sheds light on concerns about the practice.

Down Cow Care Do's and Don'ts

Dr. Shaw Perrin, DVM and assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, offers recommendations on how to best assist down cows, along with some practices to avoid.

Varcor: From Dairy Waste to Drinking Water

The VarcorTM system from Washington state-based Sedron Technologies  converts dairy manure into high-value components in a continuous closed loop, all without tractors, manure spreaders, or waste lagoons.

Tired Cows Would Rather Rest than Eat

When forced to make a choice, cows will pick resting over eating.

“Not One More Vet” Supports Veterinary Mental Health

Veterinarians and their staffs have a higher suicide rate than the general population. “Not One More Vet” is an organization dedicated to reversing that disturbing statistic.

Calves Can Be Picky About Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are important to calves’ development, but these nutritional components can vary in source. It turns out some trace minerals are more palatable than others, resulting in differences in consumption.

Pour Hydration to Heat-stressed Calves

Extra water – along with a possible electrolyte boost -- is never more important than in the heat of summer.

On-farm Bovine Pregnancy Test Kit Technology Finally Arrives

While many alternatives to palpation have evolved over the years, a quick, convenient, on-farm pregnancy test kit has remained elusive...until now.

Parlor Waiting Time Not Highly Correlated with Activity and Resting Behaviors

A recent study at a northern Colorado dairy showed whether cows had to wait a long time to be milked or a little did not have much impact on their subsequent activity and resting behavior.

How to Mimic the Perks of Transition Milk

We now know the beneficial influence of feeding transition milk to calves. Is there a way to deliver that nutritional and immunological support and bypass the tedious process of harvesting and feeding transition milk?

It's Time to Rethink Early Breeding of Heifers...Again

Are your producers getting heifers bred earlier than is beneficial? DVM Gavin Staley thinks that's the case too often. He offers three practices to focus on for hitting the “sweet spot” in heifer-breeding maturity.

The 411 on Festulolium

Its name sounds like something that belongs in the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. But festulolium actually is a highly useful hybrid forage grass – the result of a cross between fescue grass and ryegrass.

7 Steps to Start Calves on Starter

The sooner calves eat enough dry feed to sustain themselves, the better equipped they are to bridge the nutritional gap between the fixed liquid ration and a weaned diet of solely dry feeds.

Should Dairies Take out Heat Stress Insurance?

A new insurance concept is being launched to allow dairy producers around the world to financially insure against the production losses caused by heat stress.

“Hybrid” Approach Helps Maximize Colostrum Quality

Maternal colostrum is often considered nature’s “perfect food.” But does this “free” resource help calves achieve passive immunity as reliably as the guaranteed ingredients in a bag of colostrum replacer?

Calf Care & Quality Assurance Instructors Sought

The new Calf Care & Quality Assurance program is ready to engage some arms and legs to carry out its mission. The second CCQA Instructor training is planned for June 2022.

Give Dairy Calves a Toothpick

Young animals often benefit from stemmy, lower quality forages. WIth regard to nutrition, this may seem counterintuitive but research indicates that's the case.

Sole Ulcers: Don’t Blame the Ration

A high incidence of sole ulcers in a dairy herd is probably not the fault of the ration.

Late Maternal Stress Proves to be Real

It’s important to stay abreast of new research that can influence dairy management practices. That’s what happened recently at Rosy-Lane Holsteins, Watertown, Wis.

Essential Oils Earn a Seat at the Calf Management Table

In the quest to find alternatives to antibiotics to fight disease in dairy calves, essential oils are the subject of a growing body of calf health research.

Over-The-Counter Access to Antibiotics is Going Away

Access to livestock drugs through over-the-counter (OTC) channels was curbed considerably starting in 2017. Soon, OTC antibiotics may no longer be available through traditional channels at all.

FDA Makes Breakthrough Decision on Genome Edited Livestock

This first-of-its-kind decision by FDA opens the door for progress on other genome editing efforts.

What Her Gut Can Tell You

A researcher explores the intricacies of fecal pH and explains how changes in the metric can be an early signal of digestive and health disruptions in dairy cows.