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The Moo News

Newsletter of Penn Dutch Cow Care                                                        July 2000

SUMMER has definitely made its way to us. Lots of hot and humid days already and lots more, no doubt. Let’s remember our cows while we are out in the fields. Since it is summer and the heat has been turned up, we should think about water for the animals.

So here are some tips regarding water quality and animal health:

 

1) PROVIDE CLEAN, FRESH WATER: THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENT!

            -Cows can drink up to 30 GALLONS of water each day (production, size, season)

            -If not provided, cows WILL search for water – in ditches, puddles and streams.

            -Monitor quality: nitrates, coliforms. Use peroxide, sand filters, UV light, etc.

            -Monitor quantity: get a water meter (~$100)

            -Your cows are your income: they deserve lots of good, clean water.

            -Cows NEVER get used to bad water.

2) STANDING WATER CAN HARBOR DISEASES

            -Puddles in barnyards are sources of concentrated manure and urine.

                        Salmonella, Coliforms and Lepto thrive in puddles and saturated manure.

                        Clinical signs include diarrhea, fever, mastitis and abortions.

            -Saturated manure and moist bedding in pens or stalls are hotbeds for disease.

            -Stressed animals (just fresh or high producing cows) are at increased risk.

3) SLOW MOVING WATER CARRIES DISEASES WITH IT

            -Cows standing in streams are exposed to problems happening upstream.

-Cows urinating and dropping manure into streams create problems for your

 neighbors downstream….we are all, in a sense, “downstream”.

4) WARM, WET CONDITIONS CAN HURT HOOVES / START MASTITIS

-Muck and puddles will soften hooves and the hairline to such an extent that bacteria can enter and gravel will easily puncture the soles giving abscesses, or footrot and strawberry heel will occur.

-Leaky, heavy producers will have environmental coliforms or strep non-ag enter the teat canal. Moist bedding in the stall or laying as a group under a tree usually gives rise to this.

 

Consider this: Of 40-55 pounds dry matter eaten, only about 62% is digested, while 75-100 pounds of wet manure and 50-70 pounds or urine are produced and excreted by a single cow each day.  Keep this waste material away from your animals!

 

For Bovinity Health, information on functional alternatives to antibiotics see:
www.bovinityhealth.com

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