The main challenge of modern large dairy operations is to achieve high milk yield per cow without sacrificing health and welfare. Properly designed and managed facilities allow calves, heifers, and cows to be comfortable and successfully grow, mature, maintain health, and reach peak performance. This 8-page document discusses facilities, cow comfort, resting behavior, feed and water access and availability, stocking density, and heat stress. Written by Izabella Toledo, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, December 2018.
The forage cattle consume as the bulk of their diet is often deficient in trace mineral concentrations. Cattle producers can choose from a number of different methods to provide supplemental trace minerals to cattle. This 3-page document discusses several common ways to provide trace mineral supplements as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, October 2018.
Producers cannot completely control infertility in their cow herds. However, understanding and addressing the factors that affect infertility will help producers implement management practices that can improve fertility and reduce the negative impacts of infertility on the profitability of beef cow-calf operations. This 4-page fact sheet discusses reasons why beef cows fail to become pregnant or wean a calf, identification of infertile beef cows, and economic impacts of reduced fertility and infertility in beef cattle. Written by Chris Prevatt, G. Cliff Lamb, Carl Dahlen, Vitor R. G. Mercadante, and Kalyn Waters, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, revised September 2018.
Body condition score (BCS) is both a good indicator of the past nutritional status of a cow and a way to determine future nutritional needs. The BCS technique is easy to learn and can help with management decisions. This new 5-page fact sheet discusses reasons to measure BCS, ways to evaluate BCS, and important assessment times. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, August 2018.
What is the optimal number of dairy cows in a pen after their transition period? This 4-page document discusses the economically optimal stocking density for lactating dairy cows, measured as maximum profit per stall. It also introduces a spreadsheet that can be used to calculate the effects of various inputs on the economically optimal stocking density. Written by Albert De Vries, Haile Dechassa, and Henk Hogeveen, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, August 2018.
El decreto de Modernización de la Seguridad Alimentaria (FSMA por sus siglas en inglés) fue firmado en Enero del 2011. Dicho documento intenta cambiar el enfoque de la seguridad alimentaria hacia prevención en lugar de reacción ante eventos relacionados con alimentos. Determinar si un peligro requiere un control preventivo depende de la frecuencia y la gravedad del peligro, el cual varía de acuerdo a la instalación y la especie alimentada. This 5-page fact sheet is the Spanish version of EDIS document AN344, Common Hazards to Consider During Manufacturing of Feeds for Horses. Written by Ana Margarita Arias, Taylor N. Langford, Carissa Wickens, Lori Warren, and Jason M. Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, July 2018.
Horses are uniquely sensitive to fumonisin and ionophores compared to other livestock species. Facilities, particularly mixed-species feed facilities, need to ensure CGMPs, SOPs, and possibly preventive controls are implemented to address those concerns in addition to more general hazards. This 5-page fact sheet discusses common biological, chemical, and physical hazards in horse feeds as well as methods of prevention. Written by Jason M. Scheffler, Taylor N. Langford, Carissa Wickens, and Lori Warren, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, June 2018.
This 6-page document provides a list of common hazards to consider in the manufacturing of cattle feeds. It discusses the importance of preventing hazards, methods of prevention, and common physical, biological, and chemical hazards. Written by Taylor Langford, Matthew Hersom, Luiz Ferraretto, Antonio Faciola, Chad Carr, and Jason Scheffler, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2018.
The negative effects of heat stress in lactating cows are well known, but only recent studies have explored those effects along with the full benefits of cooling dry cows. Recent work at the University of Florida has demonstrated the benefits of dry cow cooling on calf performance and cow health in the next lactation. This 5-page fact sheet discusses the economic losses from milk production due to heat stress, investment, utilities, maintenance, and feasibility analysis. Written by Fernanda Ferreira, Geoffrey Dahl, and Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, March 2018.
The 17th annual Florida Bull Test Sale was held on January 21, 2017 at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 Florida Bull Test. The test evaluated the performance potential and breeding soundness of bulls consigned to the program at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC). This new 9-page fact sheet discusses test procedures, assessment of feed efficiency, test rules and regulations, health requirements, and test results. Written by Luara B. Canal, G. Cliff Lamb, and Nicolas DiLorenzo, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
Genomic selection refers to selection decisions based on genomic-estimated breeding values. These genomic breeding values are calculated using genetic markers across the entire genome. This technology has revolutionized dairy cattle breeding globally. This new 4-page fact sheet discusses the effects of genomics on dairy sire selection. Written by Francisco Peñagaricano, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
Everyone likes a good bargain, but when it comes to hay, low price often equates to low nutritional value. Because hay is often sold on a large round-bale basis, savings from the good bargain can decrease substantially if there is a negative impact on the cow herd nutritional program. This 4-page fact sheet discusses intake limitations, energy limitations, protein limitations, examples of hay quality, and bad hay’s impact on cow body condition. Written by Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, February 2018.
Attempts to calculate the economic value of semen have been made since at least the 1970s. The basic calculations have since become available (Dechow 2016). This new 3-page fact sheet reviews these calculations, adds a few other considerations, and offers estimates of the worth of the genetics of dairy semen. Written by Albert De Vries, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, January 2018.
Sire selection is one of the most important decisions that a dairy producer makes. It represents a great opportunity to improve the profitability of the dairy production enterprise. This new 3-page fact sheet reviews some key concepts that should be considered in order to make proper selection decisions and discusses alternative methods for selecting sires based on multiple traits. Written by Francisco Peñagaricano, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, January 2018.
For a calf, nutrition during the first few months of its life may permanently change the way organs develop and then have long-term consequences. The concept that metabolic imprinting may permanently affect animal development has substantial economic implications for agriculture. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes some of the research conducted in calf nutrition and its impact on the growth and reproductive performance of dairy calves. Written by Philipe Moriel and Luiz Ferraretto, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, December 2017.
Nutrition can influence future health and performance of calves. The metabolic imprinting concept has substantial economic implications for animal agriculture, and it should be explored to improve the performance of animals bred for food production. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes some of the research conducted in beef calf nutrition and nutritional impact on growth and reproductive performance of beef calves. Written by Philipe Moriel, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences, October 2017.
Feed ingredient selection is not the only factor to consider during a preconditioning process. Recent studies demonstrated that diet composition and frequency of supplementation can have positive or negative effects on calf performance during preconditioning. This 7-page fact sheet focuses on the ways beef cattle producers can modify the nutritional composition of diets and frequency of concentrate supplementation to optimize growth and immunity of preconditioning beef calves or prevent detrimental effects. Written by Philipe Moriel, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, September 2017.
Quality and cadence of various locomotion patterns are extremely valuable traits in horses. Breeds like the Tennessee Walking Horse, Florida Cracker Horse, Mangalarga marchador, and Icelandic Pony are prized and selected for unique intermediate-speed locomotion patterns. What if genetics could help us unravel and better select for the locomotion patterns of our horses? This 4-page fact sheet discusses the connection between locomotion patterns and genetics, DMRT3 and locomotion in the horse, improvement of understanding of the gene function of DMRT3, and current as well as future applications. Written by Laura Patterson Rosa, Carissa Wickens, and Samantha A. Brooks, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, May 2017.
This 4-page fact sheet discusses the equine genome, determining the genotype of a horse, breeding for certain traits, and the future of genetic tools. Written by Laura Patterson Rosa, Carissa Wickens, and Samantha A. Brooks, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, May 2017.
As a cow ambles around and eats from the feed bunk, legions of other “animals” are feeding within the cow’s rumen. Billions of protozoa swim about in a single, 20-gallon rumen, colliding with one another while engulfing feed particles and bacteria. These microbes contribute vitally to rumen fermentation and have both positive and negative impacts on animal performance. This 4-page fact sheet discusses classification, activities, removal, and impacts of protozoa. Written by Timothy J. Hackmann, and published by the UF Department of Animal Sciences, January 2017.