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UD Extension names new poultry agent

NEWARK, Del. — University of Delaware Cooperative Extension has announced its hire of Georgie Cartanza as the new poultry Extension agent.

The statewide position will be based from UD’s Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel’s Research and Education Center in Georgetown, and the hire was effective Dec. 1.

“This opportunity at the University of Delaware puts me in a different position to really serve the industry that has served me so well and provided for my family,” Cartanza said.

“I am very excited to have Georgie Cartanza join the UD Extension team as Extension agent in poultry,” said Michelle Rodgers, UD associate dean and director of Cooperative Extension “Georgie brings personal and professional knowledge and expertise to the position enhanced with passion and commitment for the poultry industry in Delmarva, making her an excellent fit for this position.”

Cartanza’s experience in the industry is extensive. A graduate of Delaware State University with a bachelor of science degree in general agriculture, Cartanza was recruited straight out of college by Perdue Farms, where she enjoyed an eight and a half year career — three and a half years as a flock supervisor and five as a regional supervisor.

Later Cartanza joined Mountaire Farms, serving three years in their housing department.

Ten years ago, while working at Mountaire, Cartanza invested in her own poultry farm, and built four houses on family property in Dover. In April 2015, she made the decision to convert conventionally grown poultry and become a certified organic poultry farmer.

Poultry is the mainstay of Delaware agriculture and the Delmarva region. As Delaware Cooperative Extension’s state poultry agent, Cartanza will deliver the latest university research and best management practices to approximately 1,500 family farms in the region.

Cartanza’s Extension responsibilities include providing numerous educational workshops and webinars on topics such as poultry housing, energy and ventilation management, poultry health, animal welfare, and mortality and litter management.

Her efforts will cross state lines, often working in partnership with industry professionals and Maryland Extension poultry experts, particularly with outreach and matters concerning environmental innovation and nutrient management best practices.

Her experiences as a poultry farmer also motivates Cartanza to educate the public about her profession.

“My hopes are through research and Extension outreach I’ll be able to help people change their perceptions about our industry, but also help the people working in our industry to be more productive and competitive,” she said.

From her earliest college days, Cartanza’s goal was to help farmers. “The poultry industry has taught me so much. I have had tremendous mentors and people who helped me so much, so it’s prepared me to be a good candidate for this position and help as many people as I can,” she said.

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Ice Water to Revive a Calf

An Icy Tip to Revive a Cold Newborn Calf

Calving doesn’t stop in the winter months. It’s extra important to make sure newborn calves have good vitality during the winter’s frigid temperatures. Shivering, shaking and making standing attempts are how newborn calves maintain body heat, but they don’t always want to do that right away. According to Dr. Sheila McGuirk, ice water is a handy way to get a struggling calf on the road to warmth.

McGuirk says a calf with good vitality score will meet the following criteria:

·       The calf should start moving its head within minutes of birth

·       The calf should be able to sit up sternal within five minutes

·       The calf should start attempting to stand within 15 minutes

·       The calf should be standing within an hour.

If those vitality marks aren’t met, the calf is at risk for hypothermia, she says. Most farmers have trained their employees to rub newborn calves down with a clean dry towel to stimulate body temperature regulation, but have you ever considered dousing the calf with ice water?

According to McGuirk, ice water is a tremendous tool to stimulate a calf that isn’t breathing. To use this European technique on your farm, you will need ice cubes, access to clean water, a clean bucket and a syringe.

There are two ways to use this technique. The first is to pour 250 ccs of ice water on the head of the struggling calf. Alternately, McGuirk says squirting some ice water into the calf’s ear works even better. She recommends producers use a 60-cc syringe to squirt just that much ice water in the ear of the calf.

“It’s a very abrupt stimulus,” she says. “They shake their head and when they shake their head they want to breathe.”

McGuirk says this technique won’t drop the calf’s body temperature, but it will start to breathe. Once a calf is breathing, it will start shivering – shaking and bringing its body temperature back up to normal.