Dairycattle Essentials


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Dairycattle Essentials

  1. 1. Dairy Cattle Essentials Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  2. 2. Topics to Discuss <ul><li>The following topics will be discussed: </li></ul><ul><li>Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul><ul><li>Show Rules & Health Requirement </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  3. 3. Selection <ul><li>Dairy heifer should excel in frame, body capacity, and dairy character </li></ul><ul><li>Should be growthy and well developed based on her age </li></ul><ul><li>Shows age divisions are typically divided on a 3 month break- Ex. March, June, September, December </li></ul><ul><li>All major shows require heifers to be registered and papers transferred to the exhibitor prior to the ownership date listed in show’s premium list </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  4. 4. Selection cont. <ul><li>Most common breeds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Holstein </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jersey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brown Swiss </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Southwestern Exposition & Livestock Show (Fort Worth), San Antonio Livestock Exposition, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, State Fair of Texas, Heart of Texas Fair (Waco), South Plains Fair (Lubbock) accept the above breeds. </li></ul><ul><li>Open shows in Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Lubbock allow junior exhibitors to double enter and show in both Junior and Open divisions </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  5. 5. Facilities <ul><li>Heifers should be kept in a large pen that is well drained, sheltered from rain and wind, and preferably opened to the south. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  6. 6. Nutrition <ul><li>Clean fresh water available at all times is very important. </li></ul><ul><li>High quality coastal or hybrid sudan and a 16-18 percent textured grain is ideal depending on age </li></ul><ul><li>A 1:1 calcium phosphorous mineral is also very important along with loose white salt </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  7. 7. Health <ul><li>Should be vaccinated (Brucellosis) between 4-6 months of age </li></ul><ul><li>Free of ectoparasites and internal parasites </li></ul><ul><li>Use only approved insecticides, wormers, and vaccines for dairy cattle </li></ul><ul><li>Other vaccinations should include: Lepto – Vibrio, IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSW, and Blackleg/Clostridia complex </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  8. 8. Management <ul><li>Heifer should be taught to lead as early as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Rope halter should be used </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure halter does not get wet and shrink into the head </li></ul><ul><li>Work daily to train heifer to lead and stand properly </li></ul><ul><li>Brushing hair is excellent way to maintain hair and gentle animal </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  9. 9. Management cont. <ul><li>Consider hoof trimming early in the feeding process </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping pen well drained and dry will encourage harder hoof development and less hoof problems </li></ul><ul><li>Consider breeding heifers at 15-16 months of age. </li></ul><ul><li>Timing to targeted shows and to calve during ideal class breaking months is important </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  10. 10. Management cont. <ul><li>AI sire should be used with high predicted difference of milk, milkfat %, protein % and type scores will add value to the heifer if sold as a bred heifer </li></ul><ul><li>Management to calving and post calving is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Can be difficult to keep cows healthy during this time. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper nutrition to avoid calving difficulty is important. </li></ul><ul><li>After calving arrange for the cow to be milked at dairy(prevents udder damage) </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  11. 11. Show Rules and Health Requirement <ul><li>Read rules for each show attending to identify specific rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Each show will vary </li></ul><ul><li>Check on Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and requirements for negative brucellosis and negative tuberculosis tests </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  12. 12. Additional questions to address with Exhibitors <ul><li>What are the goals of the 4-H member and family? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you wish to exhibit a dairy heifer? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you developed a plan to appropriately care for your project after her first calf? (Milking arrangements) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you need assistance in locating and selecting your project? </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development
  13. 13. Conclusions <ul><li>All aspects of the selection process should be understood. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper facilities should be available. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper diets and nutritional information about feeding dairy heifers should be identified. </li></ul><ul><li>Health is one of the most important aspects of raising dairy heifers. </li></ul><ul><li>Time must be spent with heifer to ensure she can lead and stand properly </li></ul><ul><li>All rules should be followed in regards to registration and health papers. </li></ul>Texas 4-H and Youth Development