PARSIPPANY, N.J. — When we do need to use antibiotics, we know that we need to use them responsibly (in both animals and people) to help keep them effective and available for decades to come. What are some of the steps to help make this happen? In caring for cattle, responsible use of antibiotics involves many things and people, but there’s one person who should continue to be part of these decisions — a veterinarian.
Veterinarians strive to prescribe antibiotics in a responsible way.
“As veterinarians, we have an ethical responsibility to make sure that we preserve the efficacy of antibiotics for future generations and ensure continued access to certain classes of antibiotics in food animals,” said Robin Falkner, DVM, managing veterinarian at Zoetis. “We use our medical training when we prescribe these medicines to restore or maintain animal health and well-being, and we take the responsibility of using them very seriously.”
Veterinarians strive to prescribe antibiotics in a responsible way to not only help treat infections but also to help reduce the unintended risk of antimicrobial resistance. This includes helping producers:
- Decrease the need to use antibiotics. Doing things to help keep animals from ever getting sick is our top priority, Dr. Falkner said. This means looking at disease management and making tweaks that can help prevent disease outbreaks.
- Ensure antibiotics are used only when they are needed. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infection. Veterinarians help identify if a bacterial disease is present or likely to be present, and then can recommend the right antibiotic to help address the disease challenge. For instance, there are four key bacterial pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease, and we can recommend an antibiotic that will be effective against these pathogens, Dr. Falkner said.
- Reduce the need for additional antibiotic treatments. Animals sometimes get sick, so when we do need to treat these animals, our priority becomes getting the highest treatment success, Dr. Falkner said. There are different classes of antibiotics that work in different ways. For example, a triamilide macrolide, such as DRAXXIN®(tulathromycin) Injectable Solution, works by interfering with protein synthesis in target pathogens, and a cephalosporin, such as EXCEDE® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Suspension, kills bacteria by destroying cell walls. If you have the right antibiotic that works the first time, you can use fewer antibiotics and have fewer animals exposed to multiple classes of antibiotics.
- Avoid antibiotic residues in meat. Proper administration and following label instructions are important to ensure product efficacy and safety. This means reviewing treatment protocols with your veterinarian about the correct dose, route of administration and adhering to proper withdrawal times.
See the results of a good relationship.
“What I find is, when the veterinarian understands what’s important to the producer in the long-term, the veterinarian can make recommendations beyond just treating the immediate animal that’s sick,” Dr. Falkner said. “It takes effort, and the intent of both parties, to develop that type of relationship and see the results that this relationship can bring.”
For Brenda Paul, owner at Timberlawn Farm in Paris, Kentucky, it means she can keep making improvements. Having a veterinarian’s input enhances animal health decisions that can help maintain the responsible use of antibiotics.
“An outside opinion is a very helpful thing to have,” Paul said. “We’re constantly evaluating what’s working, what’s not working and what changes we need to make.”
Her veterinarian helps in evaluating data to see if they’re heading in the right direction, if there’s a treatment need, or if they need a change in the protocol.
“We’ve been working together on developing this program over all the years we’ve been in the business,” Paul said. “And that will continue for many years.”
Next up: Did you know that the effectiveness of an antibiotic also plays a role in responsible use? Part 2 of this series will explore the relationship, so stay tuned. In the meantime, keep working with a veterinarian on the responsible use of antibiotics and find more information at ZoetisUS.com/DRAXXIN-Beef.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR DRAXXIN: DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product. See full Prescribing Information.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR EXCEDE: People with known hypersensitivity to penicillin or cephalosporins should avoid exposure to EXCEDE. EXCEDE is contraindicated in animals with known allergy to ceftiofur or to the ß-lactam group (penicillins and cephalosporins) of antimicrobials. Inadvertent intra-arterial injection is possible and fatal. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal. Pre-slaughter withdrawal time is 13 days following the last dose. See full Prescribing Information.
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CAMDEN, Del. — More than 90 runners took off in torrential downpour at a cool 50 degrees on May 13 at Middletown High School to compete in the 5th annual 5K Milk Run/Walk held by the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation and the New Castle County Farm Bureau. State Sen. David Sokola led the race on his bicycle, as he has every year. There was a great turnout from the Alfred G. Waters FFA and the Everett Meredith Middle School FFA.
While final figures are not yet in, organizers are certain that the goal of raising at least $10,000 to meet the annual needs of The Ministry of Caring’s “Milk For Children Fund” will be met. Net proceeds from the event will go to help MOC’s Emmanuel Dining Room serve a nutritious glass of milk to every child in need who walks through their doors. A secondary beneficiary is The Neighborhood House Inc. in Middletown, a United Way partner agency which helps struggling families get back on their feet.
More than 30 agribusinesses, dairies and farm families provided sponsorship for the race. Major sponsors included Land O’Lakes, Syngenta, New Castle County Farm Bureau, Willey Farms and Hy-Point Dairy.
“After five years I continue to be amazed at the support from the agriculture community for our event — everyone from FFA groups and small dairy farms to large milk processors and everyone in between, they rise to the cause,” said Stewart Ramsey, NCCFB president.
In the past, the race has been staged at the Appoquinimink High School in Middletown, but a new location was necessitated by DelDOT’s Route 301 construction. Middletown High School made their grounds available.
Laura Simpson, DFBF project coordinator, said she liked the new venue because there was more room.
“We appreciate being able to use Middletown High School,” she said. Next year’s venue has not been determined.
“Despite the pouring rain, runners were in great spirits,” Simpson said. “Ninety-four runners finished the race, all within an hour, which I feel was impressive.”
The winner, Rick Short, finished in 20 minutes, 11.2 seconds. Only seconds behind him were Gerardo Rivas, Jay Fenton and Godfrey Thuku. Jonathan Fitch came in less than 22 minutes.
Leaders among female runners were Lissy Haney and Casey Hagy at less than 23 minutes. Missy Lipscomb, Heather Guerrieri and Annika Roberts were third through fifth, respectively, all in less than 26 and a half minutes.
Runners ranged in age from 5 to 67, and included a great turnout from the FFA. Some participants were from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
During the past five years, 800 runners and walkers have participated in the event, raising awareness of the critical need for more milk for less fortunate children in the local community. In the first four years, almost $75,000 has been raised in this effort to buy milk for children in Delaware.
If rain doesn’t dampen the spirits of runners, will mud? The Foundation will sponsor an inaugural “Mad Bull Mud Run” on Aug. 19 at Delaware State Fairgrounds, with plenty of mud and challenging but fun obstacles to overcome. Net proceeds will go to support the Foundation’s mission to build awareness, understanding and positive public perception about Delaware’s farm operations and fresh local food. The Foundation also raises funds to provide educational materials, grants, scholarships and to feed hungry Delawareans.
For information about the mud run or if you wish to be a named sponsor, contact Laura Simpson at the Delaware Farm Bureau at 302-697-3183 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional information on Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation, visit defb.org.
— Delaware Farm Bureau
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LANCASTER, Pa. — Do you find yourself throwing away eggs after treating your flock for internal parasites? Although it’s nearly impossible to keep your chickens completely worm-free year-round, proper management can help prevent parasite issues in your flock.
Why should you care about worms in your birds?
Worm, or parasite, infestations can cause poor growth, decreased egg production and in severe cases, death. Internal parasites can also make a flock more susceptible to diseases or make existing diseases worse.
Backyard birds can easily ingest internal parasite eggs while scratching the ground and foraging for bugs, including snails, slugs, grasshoppers, ants and earthworms. Insects can also harbor parasite eggs, which infect your birds when ingested.
If your birds are not behaving normally and seem distant from the rest of the flock, it could be a sign of parasites causing illness. Pay close attention to your birds for additional symptoms of internal parasites:
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Watery droppings
- Hens stop laying
- Separation from the rest of the flock
- Balance and coordination loss due to weakness
- Poor feather quality
- Dull combs, wattles and eyes
While parasite infections can be serious, being proactive can help prevent parasites from ever becoming an issue. Here are nine ways to help keep your birds happy, healthy and parasite-free:
- Avoid overcrowding – Give birds plenty of room to be comfortable. Overcrowding can cause an abundance of germs in a small area.
- Clean coops at least once a week – Cleaning and adding fresh bedding prevents infected droppings from accumulating.
- Avoid introducing infested chickens to the flock – Purchase your chickens as newborn chicks. If you purchase adult birds, quarantine them for a minimum of two weeks to monitor their health and assess for potential disease and parasite symptoms.
- Avoid giving feed or treats on the ground – Ground pecking for feed and treats increases the risk of your flock consuming parasitic bugs and encountering droppings from contaminated birds.
- Keep chickens off freshly tilled ground – Chickens love to eat bugs and freshly tilled ground turns up insects possibly hosting parasite eggs. Keeping your flock away from freshly tilled areas can help limit their exposure to an overabundance of tasty bugs.
- Keep wild birds away from your flock – Wild birds could be infected with parasites and shed parasite eggs through their droppings.
- Use integrated pest management (IPM) practices to control insect populations – IPM practices are an eco-friendly way to eliminate or control factors required for pests to survive.
- Test and sanitize drinking water – One sick bird can infect the rest of the flock simply by contaminating the waterers. Test and sanitize the water, and keep waterers and feeders cleaned to help control or reduce the chance of spreading infection.
- Target worms – Use an all-natural supplement to help breakdown the natural defenses of intestinal worms and their eggs. This makes parasites more susceptible to attack by the bird’s immune system, stomach acids and bacteria in the gut.
Naturally preventing diseases before they start is the best strategy to support the immune system of your birds, prevent expensive, time-consuming veterinarian visits and maintain a happy, healthy flock. For more information about poultry health, visit dbcagproducts.com and “like” the Healthy Flock Facebook page.
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Have you ever looked at a dairy cow and wondered about the history of the breed? Michigan State University Extension will explore the history of the seven major breeds of dairy cattle in the U.S. Holstein cattle were the first in the series, followed by Jerseys and Ayrshires, Guernseys and Brown Swiss. The sixth breed to be discussed is Milking Shorthorns.
In contrast to other dairy cattle breeds, Shorthorns originated as a dual purpose breed, meaning they were used for both milk and meat. As the genetic focus of cattle split to specialize in either beef or dairy production, different breeding lines were also established.
Like Jersey, Ayrshire and Guernsey cattle, Milking Shorthorns originated in the United Kingdom. Milking Shorthorns were first developed along the Tees River in the norther part of England. Although references to cattle with “short horns” can be found as early as 1600, the breed did not see its modern roots until the late 1700s. Two brothers, Robert and Charles Colling, were selectively line breeding to improve the native Durham cattle. The brothers had four superior cows and one bull that were the start of their genetic line. In addition to the Collings, two other men were refining another native cattle breed. Thomas Bates and John Booth were selectively breeding Teeswater cattle; Booth worked to improve the beef quality of Shorthorn cattle, while Bates was focused on the dairy characteristics of the breed.
Shorthorns were first introduced in the United States in 1783 in Virginia and became a very popular breed for settlers because of the cattle’s versatility and calm disposition. They spread quickly throughout the country and can be found in nearly every state today, and they’re popular in England, Canada and Australia.
Milking Shorthorns are known for their structural soundness, calving ease, long production life and feed efficiency. Milking Shorthorns coat colors include white, red and road, which is a color that is a very close mix of red and white. Milk from Shorthorn cows averages 3.8 percent fat and 3.3-3.5 percent protein. Also, the breed has one of the lowest average somatic cell scores in the U.S. and Canada.
There are numerous organizations for Milking Shorthorn breeders around the world, many of whom also have junior or youth organizations. To learn more about Milking Shorthorns in the U.S. and around the world, visit the following websites:
- American Milking Shorthorn Society
- Canadian Milking Shorthorn Society
- Dairy and Beef Shorthorn, United Kingdom
- Dairy Shorthorn Association of Australia
- Purebred Dairy Cattle Association
- Oklahoma State University – Breeds of Livestock
Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM content are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success. To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs read our 2015 Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”
CAMDEN, Del. — The Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation and the New Castle County Farm Bureau will hold their fifth annual 5K Milk Run/Walk on May 13 at the Middletown High School, 120 Silver Lake Road, Middletown, Del., to benefit The Ministry of Caring’s “Milk For Children Fund.” Net proceeds from the event will go to help MOC’s Emmanuel Dining Room serve a nutritious glass of milk to every child in need who walks through their doors. A secondary beneficiary is The Neighborhood House Inc. in Middletown, a United Way partner agency which helps struggling families get back on their feet.
Note this is a new location necessitated by DelDOT’s Route 301 construction. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. Entry fee for runners or walkers who register by May 10 is $20. Registration after May 10 through the day of the race is $25. Free t-shirts will be given to all pre-registered runners/walkers.
The public is invited to participate or to watch the race. There will be live animals to see and ice cream available to keep you cool.
During the past four years, 700 runners and walkers have participated in the event, raising awareness of the critical need for more milk for less fortunate children in the local community. Almost $75,000 has been raised in this effort to buy milk for children in Delaware.
The Delaware Farm Bureau established the Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation in 2013 to build awareness, understanding and positive public perception about Delaware’s farm operations and fresh local food. The foundation also raises funds to provide educational materials, grants, scholarships and to feed hungry Delawareans.
To register for the Milk Run 5K Run/Walk or to make an online donation, visit www.races2run.com/milk-run. For information about the race or if you wish to be a named sponsor, contact Laura Simpson at the Delaware Farm Bureau at 302-697-3183 or via email at email@example.com. Find additional information on Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation, visit defb.org. For more information on the beneficiary organizations, visit www.ministryofcaring.org or www.neighborhoodhse.org.
— Delaware Farm Bureau
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By Charlie Staples, Gabriel Gomes and Jose Santos, University of Florida
Changes in life events and environment, such as parturition, milk production, and heat stress, substantially increase demands on the cow including her oxygen requirements. These increased requirements for oxygen usually result in increased production of troublesome reactive oxygen compounds. These must be neutralized with an anti-oxidant such as vitamin E.
At the University of Florida, we increased the daily intake of supplemental vitamin E from 1000 to 3000 international units (IU) during the close-up nonlactating period and from 500 to 2000 IU after calving. The 1000 and 500 IU amounts are what is recommended by the National Research Council. In addition, the cows were kept in shade only or with shade, fans, and sprinklers during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. After calving, all cows were provided with shade, fans, and sprinklers. Milk yield and feed intake were measured for the first 15 weeks.
The older cows responded differently than the firstcalf heifers. If older cows were offered shade before calving, 3.5% fat-corrected milk production increased from 79.4 lb per day to 87.9 lb per day. Yet feeding additional vitamin E to the older cows without fans and sprinklers had the same effect as cooling the cows before calving; that is, 3.5% fat-corrected milk increased from 79.4 lb per day up to 87.0 lb per day. No benefit of feeding extra vitamin E was detected if older cows were evaporatively cooled before calving. Therefore milk yield by older cows was the same if 1) they were evaporatively cooled without increased supplementation of vitamin E or 2) they only had shade before calving but were fed extra vitamin E. These increased amounts of milk yield were supported by increased amounts of feed intake.
The story was much different for first-calf heifers. Production of 3.5% fat-corrected milk was reduced if they were fed vitamin E above NRC recommendations regardless of prepartum cooling method. Milk yield dropped from 61.1 to 49.7 lb per day by feeding extra vitamin E to heifers only given shade. But milk also dropped from 59.5 to 54.4 pounds per day if extra vitamin E was fed to heifers cooled with fans and sprinklers before calving.
Why such a difference in response between heifers and cows? Based upon lower plasma concentrations of nonesterifed fatty acids (NEFA), less loss of body weight, and less negative energy balance, first calf heifers were under less stress postpartum than were older cows. Feeding 3 to 4 times the recommended amount of the antioxidant vitamin E to these lowerstressed heifers may have caused vitamin E to form many tocopherol radicals that damaged cell membranes and hurt performance rather than act as an antioxidant and help performance as it did with the older cows. The combination of increased heat stress before calving and greater metabolic stress due to greater milk production postpartum may have created a situation in which the requirement for an antioxid.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama officials have confirmed bird flu in two poultry flocks, just a week after three commercial breeders had to kill their chickens across the state line in Tennessee.
The state veterinarian announced that chickens are under quarantine after testing positive for the disease at a commercial breeding operation in Pickens County near the Mississippi line.
Dr. Tony Frazier’s statement says the disease also was found in a backyard flock in Madison County, near the Tennessee line.
Agriculture officials say this strain of avian flu poses no risk to humans and has not entered the food chain.
The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association says poultry is Alabama’s largest agriculture sector, generating about $15 billion in annual revenues and employing more than 86,000 people.
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