Developing the rumen superpower

Posted on May 10, 2022 in Dairy Goat Performance
By Dr. Lucas Mitchell The ability to turn ordinarily undigestible feeds into valuable meat and milk products should be considered nothing short of a superpower, and it is what makes ruminants a unique, valuable, and sustainable source of food. As such, it is critical to prioritize rumen development early in life so that, later in life, they can more thoroughly digest and make use of fibrous feedstuffs.

Colostrum management (part 2): Successfully feeding high-quality colostrum

Posted on February 14, 2022 in Dairy Goat Performance
By Dr. Noah Litherland In part 2 of our colostrum series, we look at efficient ways to heat-treat, store and warm colostrum. We also review the steps for processing newborn kids and feeding colostrum.

Colostrum management (part 1): Start with the doe

Posted on January 28, 2022 in Dairy Goat Performance
By Dr. Noah Litherland We only have one opportunity per doe to harvest colostrum and to feed her kids quality colostrum, so let’s develop a plan to do it right! Do you have opportunities to manage colostrum more effectively this year?

Virtual Farm Tour: Drumlin Dairy LLC

Posted on November 18, 2021 in Dairy Goat Performance
[gallery ids="16836,16837,16838,16839,16840,16841,16842,16843,16844,16845"] Drumlin Dairy LLC focuses on kid health, year-round production Wisconsin leads the nation in dairy goat production, yet not enough goat milk is produced in-state to make all the goat cheese crafted by Wisconsin cheesemakers.  A few years ago, processors approached the owners of Holsum Dairies, LLC in Hilbert, Wisconsin, to see if they

Managing heat stress in dairy goats

Posted on July 13, 2021 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Dr. David Carlson
Heat stress is a costly condition for many species of livestock, causing suboptimal health and productivity.  Dairy goats experiencing heat stress will compensate in several ways to maintain body temperature, both by accelerating heat loss and decreasing heat production.  These critical management strategies can help animals cope with heat stress.

To drive or not to drive? Wheel traffic and alfalfa yields

Posted on May 21, 2021 in Dairy Goat Performance

In our pursuit for greater alfalfa yield per acre, we created a situation of loss.  What I mean is our alfalfa variety selection process has pushed farmers to select higher fall-dormancy-scored alfalfas that recover more quickly after cuttings, stay vegetative longer into the fall, and green-up more quickly in the spring.  This is accomplished through plant breeding and selection for plants that exhibit faster regrowth.  These varieties possess the desired production traits for higher yields per acre and exhibit crowns that are not as deeply set into the soil.

Use your tax information to calculate true cost of production

Posted on February 16, 2021 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
It’s tax season.  Whether you dread it or enjoy it, one benefit of tax season is it provides you with an opportunity to break down and itemize your expenses.  Completing this process provides you with valuable insight into your true cost of production.

Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) mitigation strategies

Posted on November 30, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) is a contagious – and potentially fatal – viral disease in goats.  It can be transmitted in several ways and, without a specific treatment, it is best to follow a strict mitigation program to decrease the frequency of CAE-infected animals on your farm.

Feeding during the dry period

Posted on October 8, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
Dry doe nutrition is an important part of a successful dairy goat operation.  However, many producers don’t invest enough time and/or resources into this important stage of a dairy goat’s life to capitalize on the benefits it provides.

RFV or RFQ: Does it make a difference?

Posted on July 14, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Jon Urness, Vita Plus national forage specialist, retired
Nutritionists sometimes use RFV and RFQ to describe how a certain forage is feeding.  However, these two values mean more when you compare the relative dollar value of different forages in the market.

Detection, treatment and prevention of coccidia

Posted on June 1, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
While any number of factors can cause diarrhea and scours, coccidia becomes the more likely cause when goat kids are between 3 weeks and 5 months of age.  Since it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate coccidia form the environment, it is best to understand the impact is has on your herd and then develop a herd-specific treatment and prevention plan.

Using DHIA testing to make better culling decisions

Posted on April 15, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
Keeping comprehensive records is important for any business to grow and thrive, and dairy goat farms are no different.  The Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) is a great way to keep individual milk records on each of your does.

Checklist: Newborn kids

Posted on February 3, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
Previously, we discussed how important it is to have a maternity and fresh doe checklist.  Now we will address the items you should have on a newborn kid checklist to ensure a safe start to life.

Checklist: Maternity pen and fresh does

Posted on January 15, 2020 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson
Kidding season is right around the corner - are you ready?  Having a maternity pen and doe checklist can help ensure a smooth delivery for the animals and make sure staff are prepared. 

The stages of involution and an effective dry period

Posted on November 19, 2019 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson, Vita Plus dairy goat specialist
While most producers know it is important to give their does a dry period, many only give them 40 days.  Is that long enough?  Research shows it can take between 40 and 60 days to complete the necessary stages before a doe is ready to be an efficient producer again.  In this post, we look at the stages of the dry period and explain why it needs to be longer.

Finding Mr. Right: Picking the right buck for your herd

Posted on October 30, 2019 in Dairy Goat Performance

By Sarah Adamson, Vita Plus dairy goat specialist
The incorporation of the right buck could quickly improve your herd’s production and genetic potential. When you are considering a new buck, ask yourself these questions.