Gonadotropin-releasing hormone improves reproductive performance of dairy cows with slow involution of the reproductive tract.
Eighty multiparous Holstein cows were assigned randomly at calving to receive either 100 microg of GnRH or saline 13 or 14 d postpartum (PP). From 4 to 28 d PP the cows' reproductive organs were palpated weekly per rectum, and cows were subclassified within each group as undergoing slow (delayed) cervical and uterine involution (abnormal) or as normal cows. Last milk obtained after removing the milking machine was assayed for progesterone 3 times a week for 120 d PP. Fourteen of the 80 cows were removed from the experiment because of culling or various veterinary treatments of pathologic conditions that could confound analysis of the GnRH treatment effects. As expected, the treatment of normal cows with GnRH had no significant effects on the first estrus or the first estrous cycle PP, on services per conception, days open, or any other reproductive trait measured. However, in the abnormal group of cows receiving saline, first rebreeding after calving was delayed (81 vs. 67 d), fewer were pregnant by 105 d PP (23 vs. 64%), and number of days open was greater (121 vs. 87 d) compared with those receiving GnRH; all were significant (P<.05). Treated abnormal cows were equivalent to the control normal cows. Thus, GnRH given 13 to 14 d PP to cows characterized as undergoing slow involution of the reproductive system, but with no other clinical problems, seems to assist in promoting rapid normal reproductive function. Subsequent losses due to culling were greatly reduced. (+info)
Processing, mixing, and particle size reduction of forages for dairy cattle.
Adequate forage amounts in both physical and chemical forms are necessary for proper ruminal function in dairy cows. Under conditions in which total amounts of forage or particle size of the forage are reduced, cows spend less time ruminating and have a decreased amount of buoyant digesta in the rumen. These factors reduce saliva production and allow ruminal pH to fall, depressing activity of cellulolytic bacteria and causing a prolonged period of low ruminal pH. Insufficient particle size of the diet decreases the ruminal acetate-to-propionate ratio and reduces ruminal pH. The mean particle size of the diet, the variation in particle size, and the amount of chemical fiber (i.e., NDF or ADF) are all nutritionally important for dairy cows. Defining amounts and physical characteristics of fiber is important in balancing dairy cattle diets. Because particle size plays such an important role in digestion and animal performance, it must be an important consideration from harvest through feeding. Forages should not be reduced in particle size beyond what is necessary to achieve minimal storage losses and what can be accommodated by existing equipment. Forage and total mixed ration (TMR) particle sizes are potentially reduced in size by all phases of harvesting, storing, taking out of storage, mixing, and delivery of feed to the dairy cow. Mixing feed causes a reduction in size of all feed particles and is directly related to TMR mixing time; field studies show that the longest particles (>27 mm) may be reduced in size by 50%. Forage and TMR particle size as fed to the cows should be periodically monitored to maintain adequate nutrition for the dairy cow. (+info)
Rotavirus G-type restriction, persistence, and herd type specificity in Swedish cattle herds.
G-typing of rotavirus strains enables the study of molecular epidemiology and gathering of information to promote disease prevention and control. Rotavirus strains in fecal specimens from neonatal calves in Swedish cattle herds were therefore characterized by using G1 to -4-, G6-, G8-, and G10-specific primers in reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. Fecal samples were collected from one dairy herd (herd A) for 4 consecutive years and from 41 beef and dairy herds (herd B) experiencing calf diarrhea outbreaks. Altogether, 1, 700 samples were analyzed by group A rotavirus enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and 98 rotavirus-positive specimens were selected for G-typing by RT-PCR. The effect of herd type, time, geographic region, and clinical symptoms on the G-type distribution was evaluated. Altogether (herds A and B), G10 was found in 59 (60. 2%) fecal specimens, G6 was found in 30 (30.6%) specimens, G3 was found in 1 (1.0%) specimen, and G8 was found in 1 (1.0%) specimen. Seven (7.1%) fecal specimens were not typeable. Herd type specificity in the G-type distribution was demonstrated in the herds in herd B. In the 6 beef suckler herds, only G6 was detected, while rotavirus strains from the 35 dairy herds were predominantly (54%) G10. The G-type distribution was restricted in herds A and B. Twenty-nine of 30 strains from herd A were characterized as G10. In the vast majority of herds in herd B, a single G-type was identified. The serotype G10 and the electropherotype persisted over time in herd A. No characteristic G-type variation in the geographic distribution of cattle herds in herd B was obvious. There was no difference in the G-type distributions between the strains from clinically and subclinically rotavirus-infected calves in dairy herd A. The results from this study strongly indicate a pronounced stability in the rotavirus G-type distribution in Swedish cattle herds, which emphasizes the importance of continuous preventive measures for control of neonatal calf diarrhea. A future bovine rotavirus vaccine in Sweden should contain G10 and G6 strains. (+info)
Effects of milk yield on biological efficiency and profit of beef production from birth to slaughter.
Effect of milk yield (MY) on biological efficiency and gross margin as an indicator of profit potential of beef production from birth to slaughter was determined. Data included 9 yr of spring-born single male calves. Biological efficiency was calculated as carcass weight/total feed energy intake, including nonlactating and lactating intakes of cow and creep and feedlot intakes of calf. Slaughter end point was finish constant at 9 mm of fat thickness. Gross margin was determined as returns minus feed costs. Three breeding systems were analyzed: purebred Hereford (HE), large rotational (LR), and small rotational (SR). Analyses were performed separately by breeding system when differences in the effect of MY among breeding systems were significant. Increased MY was associated with increased preweaning gain (P < .001), increased weight at start of feedlot trial (P < .001), and increased hot carcass weight (P < .05). No significant (P > .10) effect of MY on age at slaughter or on carcass weight per day of age at slaughter was found. Increased MY was associated with increased cow lactating energy intake (P < .10) and negatively associated with calf creep intake (P < .01). No effects of MY on intake of the cow during the nonlactating period, calf feedlot intake, or total feed intake were found. Increased MY was associated with a reduction in backfat thickness of the cow during the lactating period (P < .01) with no change in body weight. In the subsequent nonlactating period, increasing MY was associated with increased backfat thickness (P < .10) and body weight (P < .05). No effect of MY on change in backfat or weight of cow from calving to the end of the next nonlactating period was found. No effect of MY on biological efficiency to slaughter was detected. Milk yield was positively associated with gross margin from birth to slaughter (P < .05); results were similar when cow feed prices were reduced by 30%. Increased MY was associated with increased biological efficiency to weaning in HE (P < .01) and SR (P < .10), with no effect found in LR. When feeding cows to requirements, milk yield has a positive effect on the profit potential of beef production from birth to slaughter. (+info)
Mass treatment of humans who drank unpasteurized milk from rabid cows--Massachusetts, 1996-1998.
Rabies is a viral zoonosis that is usually transmitted by the bite of an infected mammal. However, in Massachusetts, two incidents have been reported since 1996 of potential mass exposures to rabies through drinking unpasteurized milk. This report presents the investigations of these two incidents. (+info)
Effects of repeated jugular puncture on plasma cortisol concentrations in loose-housed dairy cows.
In three experiments, the effects of venipuncture on plasma cortisol concentrations were studied in loose-housed dairy cows. In Exp. 1, two blood samples were collected 18 min apart on three alternate days from 20 dairy cows for studying their adrenocortical response to a single venipuncture. To further evaluate the effect of cows anticipating venipuncture, in Exp. 2, 15 dairy cows were sequentially venipunctured once daily on 12 successive days in a randomized order in groups of five, starting 15 min apart. In Exp. 3, 10 primiparous cows were used on three alternate days to study habituation to serial sampling (i.e., collection of five blood samples by venipuncture, 15 min apart). In cows accustomed to handling, jugular puncture did not affect cortisol concentrations in plasma collected 18 min later. Average daily cortisol concentrations varied between 2.07 +/- .38 and 3.81 +/- .56 ng/mL in the first (t = 0) and between 1.43 +/- .15 and 2.61 +/- .72 ng/mL in the second (t = 18) blood samples. Likewise, when cows were sampled sequentially once a day, the order of sampling between and within groups did not influence (P > .05) plasma cortisol concentrations. In contrast, primiparous dairy cows that were less used to being handled showed an average increase in cortisol concentrations when five samples were collected by venipuncture 15 min apart. During successive sampling sessions, however, the cows did not decrease or increase plasma cortisol concentrations in response to repeated serial sampling at the group level (P > .05). Between individuals, the maximum effect of repeated venipuncture on cortisol concentrations (4.5 to 22.6 ng/mL), the time at which the effect reached its maximum (30 to 60 min), and the consistency of the response pattern over successive series varied largely. The results of this study show that in cows that were accustomed to handling and to being restrained, baseline cortisol concentrations can be measured in single blood samples that are collected by jugular puncture within 1 min after first approaching the cow. When successive blood samples need to be collected within 15 to 20 min, jugular puncture may induce an increase in cortisol concentration, which seems to depend on the handling experience of the animals and on individual differences. (+info)
Streptococcus waius sp. nov., a thermophilic Streptococcus from a biofilm.
Thermophilic streptococci were isolated from biofilms on stainless steel samples exposed to pasteurized skimmed milk and from dairy products from a dairy manufacturing plant. The phenotypic characters of these isolates were distinct from those of other thermophilic streptococci of dairy origin (Streptococcus thermophilus and Streptococcus bovis). Genotypic data [restriction endonuclease analysis, ribotyping, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles, DNA-DNA hybridization and G + C contents] support the classification of these isolates as a new species. The sequence of the 16S rRNA was compared with that of 29 species of streptococci and shown to be significantly different. The sequence of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region also differed from published sequences of closely related species. A fluorescent in situ hybridization probe prepared to a specific part of the 16S rRNA gene sequence was able to distinguish the unknown isolates from reference isolates of S. thermophilus and S. bovis. It is proposed that these thermophilic streptococcal isolates from a dairy environment be classified in the genus Streptococcus as a new species, Streptococcus waius (from waiu, the New Zealand Maori word for milk). The type strain is 3/1T (= NZRCC 20100T). (+info)
Limit-feeding corn as an alternative to hay reduces manure and nutrient output by Holstein cows.
Efficiency of limit-feeding a whole shelled corn-based diet as an alternative to a conventional forage-based diet for nonlactating dairy cattle was determined. Twelve nonlactating, multiparous Holstein cows (initial BW 642+/-50 kg) were used in a randomized complete block design. Nutrient digestibility, excretion of DM, N, and P, performance of cows, and feed costs were measured. Both diets were formulated to provide equal daily intakes of NE1, protein, vitamins, and minerals, according to National Research Council recommendations. Dry matter intake was restricted by 30% for cows fed the high-corn diet compared with the high-forage diet (6.8 vs 9.6 kg/ d, respectively); therefore, concentrations of nutrients in the high-corn diet were increased to compensate for decreased DMI. Diets were fed once daily, and cows had unlimited access to fresh water. After a 28-d adaptation period, cows were placed in metabolism stalls for a 6-d total collection of feces and urine. The limit-fed, high-corn diet had a 15% greater DM digestibility than the high-forage diet. A 29% decrease in DMI for the high-corn diet vs the high-forage diet resulted in a 40% decrease in fecal DM excretion. Starch digestibility and digestibility of whole corn kernels were not affected (P > or = .62) by diet. Despite similar N intakes, total N excretion was 22% greater (P < .01) for cows fed the high-forage diet than for those limit-fed the high-grain diet. Cow weight and condition score change did not differ (P > .10) between diets. Feed costs were reduced by $.38/d with the high-corn diet vs the high-forage diet. Limit-feeding a corn-based diet is an economically and nutritionally viable alternative to forage-based diets for nonlactating Holstein cows. (+info)