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Branding Iron

Branding Iron:

Branding plays an important role in livestock identification and all information related to their parents, pedigree, diseases and treatments, breeding and all other things happened during their lives are registered according to the numbers allocated to each animal in management software or sheets.

Although ear tags are produced in various types and installed on livestock ear, branding is more durable on animals’ skin and is readable from far distances. In this case, farmers pay more attention to this marking method.

Branding on animals’ skin is done by different ways and less dangerous one is freeze. In this way, pigment-producing hair cells are damaged causing the animal’s hair to grow white where the brand has been applied.

It should be noticed that mostly it’s not possible to remove branded numbers.

Specifications of branding method:

  • Branding iron applicable on cattle and heifers
  • One set from 0 to 9, in small and big sizes
Branding Iron2019-09-21T05:38:45+00:00

Polyurethane Ear Tags (2)

Ear tags play an important role in livestock identification and all information related to their parents, pedigree, diseases and treatments, breeding and all other things happened during their lives are registered according to the numbers allocated to each animal in management software or sheets.

Although all ear tags look similar, their component materials are important with regard to their durability during animal lifetime.

As some animals are willing to chew their ear tags, quality and durability of tags on animal’s ear is especially important since dairy farmers tend to industrialize animal breeding and register their specifications.

If animals are kept for more than 6 months, using polyurethane tags with metal tips are recommended as they are highly resistant against pressure and strokes; i.e. metal tips are rigid enough against strokes, heat, humidity and other physical factors and in this way, tags would remain on livestock ear. Therefore, because of the rigidity of metal tips, it will be hard and time consuming to change animal’s identification number in case they are stolen.

Also it is possible to print desired numbers and other specifications by laser on these ear tags which leads to save more time and thus, numbers would remain longer in comparison with writing by markers. In this way, the dairy farm seems more industrialized. Printing the name or brand by laser reduces the possibility of robbery.

Specifications of Polyurethane Ear Tags:
  • In two pieces
  • Made in Yellow color (can be made in customized color)
  • Dimension: 38 mm * 42 mm
  • Made of polyurethane
  • Applicable for sheep, goat and camel
  • Numbers can be printed by laser
  • With plastic or Polyurethane pin
Polyurethane ear tags
Polyurethane Ear Tags (2)2019-09-21T05:38:45+00:00

Plastic Ear Tag for Sheep, Goat & Camel

Plastic Ear Tag for Sheep, Goat & Camel:

Ear tags play an important role in livestock identification and all information related to their parents, pedigree, diseases and treatments, breeding and all other things happened during their lives are registered according to the numbers allocated to each animal in management software or sheets.

Although all ear tags look similar, their component materials are important with regard to their durability during animal lifetime.

As some animals are willing to chew their ear tags, quality and durability of tags on animal’s ear is especially important since dairy farmers tend to industrialize animal breeding and register their specifications.

If animals are kept for more than 6 months, using polyurethane tags with metal tips are recommended as they are highly resistant against pressure and strokes; i.e. metal tips are rigid enough against strokes, heat, humidity and other physical factors and in this way, tags would remain on livestock ear. Therefore, because of the rigidity of metal tips, it will be hard and time consuming to change animal’s identification number in case they are stolen.

On plastic ear tag, it is not possible to write the numbers with markers and only laser printing works.

Specifications of Plastic Ear Tag for Sheep, Goat & Camel:
  • In two pieces
  • Yellow, pink, white and green color
  • Made of plastic
  • Size: 50*17 mm
  • With Poly amide or plastic pins
  • Applicable for sheep, goat and camel
Plastic ear tag
Plastic Ear Tag for Sheep, Goat & Camel2019-09-21T05:38:45+00:00

Polyurethane Ear Tags (1)

Ear tags play an important role in livestock identification and all information related to their parents, pedigree, diseases and treatments, breeding and all other things happened during their lives are registered according to the numbers allocated to each animal in management software or sheets.

Although all ear tags look similar, their component materials are important with regard to their durability during animal lifetime.

As some animals are willing to chew their ear tags, quality and durability of polyurethane ear tags on animal’s ear is especially important since dairy farmers tend to industrialize animal breeding and register their specifications.

If animals are kept for more than 6 months, using polyurethane ear tags with metal tips are recommended as they are highly resistant against pressure and strokes; i.e. metal tips are rigid enough against strokes, heat, humidity and other physical factors and in this way, tags would remain on livestock ear. Therefore, because of the rigidity of metal tips, it will be hard and time consuming to change animal’s identification number in case they are stolen.

Also it is possible to print desired numbers and other specifications by laser on these ear tags which leads to save more time and thus, numbers would remain longer in comparison with writing by markers. In this way, the dairy farm seems more industrialized.

Specifications of Polyurethane Ear Tags:
  • In two pieces, white and yellow color
  • Dimension: 16 mm * 45 mm
  • Made of polyurethane
  • Applicable for sheep, goat and camel
  • Numbers can be printed by laser
  • With plastic or Polyamide pin
Polyurethane ear tags
Polyurethane Ear Tags (1)2019-09-21T05:38:48+00:00

Nutrition is key for transition cows (Part 02)

Importance of protein and amino acids in nutrition

Although less well explored than metabolisable energy (ME) balance, metabolisable protein (MP) balance is also important for successful reproduction. In this review study, improved early-lactation MP balance tended to increase the proportion pregnant. Increasing crude protein (CP) intake may increase nutrient loss via increased milk production and have negative effects on fertility, in association with higher urea nitrogen concentrations in blood. Increasing CP content of the diet does not necessarily increase MP availability, but decreasing the degradability of protein or increasing the fermentability of the diet may be more effective in increasing MP availability. The review also highlights that alterations in dietary protein may not simply affect MP balance, but also specific amino acids (AA) composition and supply of metabolisable AA. Specific roles for AA in reproductive performance are not well defined. Lysine and methionine have been suggested to be the most co-limiting AA for production, and supplementation of these may increase milk yield, but results are inconsistent. Supplementation of lactating cows with rumen-protected methionine or lysine has had positive or negligible effects on reproductive outcomes.

Positive effects of fatty acids

Microbial lipolysis and biohydrogenation in the rumen ensure that intake of fatty acids and those available for absorption in the duodenum differ; hence, these issues were explored separately. Fats not only provide an energy source but also are essential precursors for steroid hormones, and the beneficial effects of fat have been observed independently of the provision of energy. The researchers of this review noted that intakes of many of the fats (C14:0, C16:1, C18:0, C18:1 trans, C18:1 cis, and other, g/d) were uni-variably associated with an increased proportion of cows pregnant. No association was found between C18:3 identified with the proportion of cows pregnant, but fatty acids present in fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid are included in the other fatty acids associated with the proportion of cows pregnant.

Role of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important sources of energy for cows, as well as for rumen microorganisms and generally increase the efficiency of protein utilisation and microbial protein production. However, increased concentrations of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates can increase the risk of acidosis. The type of carbohydrate also influences the risk of acidosis, with sugars posing a greater risk than starches. Consequently, carbohydrates have positive and negative effects on fertility. The positive associations of starch percentage and intake (kg/d), possibly because of a slower fermentation rate than sugars, and negative associations of soluble fibre and sugar percentage and intake (kg/d) with proportion pregnant were identified in uni-variable analyses. The review also mentioned that a negative association was found between increased CPM-estimated physically effective NDF intake (kg/d) and proportion pregnant in the uni-variable analysis. The only variable that remained in the multivariable models was the effect of sugar intake (kg/d), which was negatively associated with the proportion of cows pregnant. Ruminal acidosis may decrease fertility by reducing feed intake, producing a metabolic acidosis leading to detrimental alteration of uterine environment, stimulating inflammation that induces prostaglandin release, and resulting in luteolysis in a process analogous to that of mastitis.

Conclusions

This study highlights several important findings for future research on the effects of transition nutrition on fertility. It confirms that nutritional management of cows during the transition period can have substantial effects on reproductive success, and this finding is consistent with previous meta-analytical studies in this area. Overall, this study confirmed earlier findings that excessive protein intake can impair fertility, but that a positive MP balance is consistent with better fertility. However, it may be necessary to increase protein intake when feeding fats, and other work suggests a need to control the MP balance before calving. The role of specific metabolisable AA needs further study. This study also, critically, identified potential effects of specific carbohydrate fractions, especially sugar (kg/d), starch (kg/d), and physically effective NDF (kg/d) on reproductive outcomes.

Source:

This article is a short summary of the original paper: Effects of nutrition on the fertility of lactating dairy cattle, by R.M. Rodney, P. Celi, K. Breinhild, J.E.P. Santos and I.J. Lean, published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 101, Issue 6.

Nutrition is key for transition cows (Part 02)2019-09-21T05:38:48+00:00

One-Piece Plastic Ear Tag Applicator

One-Piece Plastic Ear Tag Applicator:

Ear tag applicators are used for applying tags on livestock ears rapidly and with less pressure. The equipment is also used for two-piece ear tags with normal pins on.

As of the design of  ear tag applicator, some points shall be noticed, like high durability, ergonomic and user-friendly design, security of both user and livestock and also the strength. All these features are considered in these two-piece ear tag applicators, which are also designed to reduce costs at dairy farms as it is possible to change the needles easily once they are damaged.

Although the ear tag applicator is designed for external use in case of ear bleeding, and as the apparatus becomes contaminated by blood, the contamination can be transferred between animals. So, it is recommended to clean the applicator with disinfectant solutions after using for each livestock.

Specification of ear tag applicator:

  • Highly resistant against strokes
  • Possibility of changing needles and other parts as damaged
  • With extra needle and pin
  • In black color
  • Made of plastic
ear tag applicator
One-Piece Plastic Ear Tag Applicator2019-09-21T05:38:48+00:00

One-Piece Metal Ear Tag Applicators (1)

Ear tag applicators are used for applying tags on livestock ears rapidly and with less pressure. The equipment is also used for one piece ear tags.

As of the design of ear tag applicators, some points shall be noticed, like high durability, ergonomic and user-friendly design, security of both user and livestock and also the strength. All these features are considered in these one piece ear tag applicators, which are also designed to reduce costs at dairy farms as it is possible to change the needles easily once they are damaged.

Although the applicators are used externally in case of ear bleeding, and as the apparatus becomes contaminated by blood, the contamination can be transferred between animals. So, it is recommended to clean the applicator with disinfectant solutions after using for each livestock.

Specification of ear tag applicator:

  • Highly resistant against strokes
  • Possibility of changing needles and other parts as damaged
  • In red color
  • Made of metal
ear tag applicators
One-Piece Metal Ear Tag Applicators (1)2019-09-21T05:38:48+00:00

Nutrition is key for transition cows (Part 01)

Nutrition is key for transition cows

Nutritional management of cows during the transition period can have substantial effects on reproductive success. This was concluded from a large literature review.

Poor reproductive performance of lactating dairy cattle is a complex disorder that reflects associations with intensification of production and increased milk production. However, it is difficult to determine a causal basis for the decrease in fertility, as genetics and environment have changed markedly over the last decades. Nutritional influences on fertility have been examined and frequently reviewed, but difficulties and inconsistencies in study design occur. Studies must have large numbers of experimental units to identify biologically and economically important differences in proportion of cows pregnant. Nutritional influences during the transition period may be of particular importance, but it is clear that the effect of diet on fertility during this period is complex and multifactorial. The objective of the current study was to use carefully described dietary information from the available literature to explore the effects of the diet during the transition period on measures of pregnancy and calving to pregnancy interval as well as identifying factors that may explain variation in these responses. This research looked at 118 diets contained within 39 experiments to see what the effects on nutritional interventions fed during the early postpartum period.

Higher milk output, lower fertility

The extensive literature has observed that cows with greater milk production generally have poorer fertility, and that genetic selection for increased production can reduce fertility. Whereas genetic differences were not examined in this data set, the researchers identified associations between increased milk fat (kg/d) and protein production (kg/d) with reductions in the proportion pregnant, actual milk yield (kg/d), and milk protein yield (100 g/d) with longer calving to pregnancy interval. They also found that protein yield in very early lactation (first 3 weeks of lactation) was positively associated with the proportion of first services that resulted in pregnancy, and others identified positive associations between milk protein percentage and improved reproductive performance. These findings, overall, highlight possible differences between experiments conducted at the level of the individual and those at the group level. As milk protein production increases in a group of cows, it may be expected that nutrient intakes will need to be more closely aligned with nutrient losses, whereas the individual within the herd with greater production may have better phenotypic adaptation to the environment allowing greater milk protein yield and percentage.

Focus on nutrient balance and BCS

The availability of nutrients that can be allocated to reproduction is not just determined by immediate diet (i.e. the immediate intake of nutrients as dry matter intake (DMI)), but also by endogenous body tissue reserves, reflected in labile body weight (BW) and body condition score (BCS). Hence, DMI before and after calving is a key determinant of exogenous nutrient availability. The irreversible loss of nutrients in milk production and use of nutrients for maintenance and growth diminishes the nutrient pool available for reproduction. The difference between dietary intake and expenditure determines the nutrient balance, and if a negative balance occurs endogenous reserves are depleted. Many studies have examined the effects of estimated negative energy balance on fertility. The length and severity of a negative energy balance at the onset of lactation is largely determined by DMI around calving and milk yield. Estimated energy balance (MJ/d) was, as anticipated, positively associated with improved proportion pregnant and shorter calving to pregnancy interval. A better energy balance during the first 3 to 4 weeks of lactation reduces the interval to first ovulation and increases the probability of pregnancy at the following breeding. Excessively low or high BCS at calving, or extreme losses of BW or BCS in early lactation, are usually associated with impaired reproductive outcomes.

Source:

This article is a short summary of the original paper: Effects of nutrition on the fertility of lactating dairy cattle, by R.M. Rodney, P. Celi, K. Breinhild, J.E.P. Santos and I.J. Lean, published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 101, Issue 6.

Nutrition is key for transition cows (Part 01)2019-09-21T05:38:48+00:00

Carbon Farming (Part 02)

Carbon farming: reducing methane emissions from cattle using feed additives

Feed additives or supplements offer one approach to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock. Livestock produce significant amounts of methane as part of their normal digestive processes. Some feed additives can inhibit the microorganisms that produce methane in the rumen and subsequently reduce methane emissions.

How feed additives work

Methane-reducing feed additives and supplements inhibit methanogens in the rumen, and subsequently reduce enteric methane emissions.

Methane-reducing feed additives and supplements are most effective when grain, hay or silage is added to the diet, especially in beef feedlots and dairies.

What are methane-reducing feed additives or supplements?

Methane-reducing feed additives and supplements can be:

  • synthetic chemicals
  • natural supplements and compounds, such as tannins and seaweed
  • fats and oils

Synthetic chemicals, such as antibiotics, are sometimes used to improve the efficiency of feed conversion in cattle, although it is not a recommended practice to use these additives to reduce methane emissions. There are legislative restrictions and human health concerns about using antibiotics as growth promotants in livestock.

There is potential for natural compounds and materials to reduce methane production in livestock, though these products have not been widely commercialized. Feeding one type of seaweed at 3% of the diet has resulted in up to 80% reduction in methane emissions from cattle. Fats and oils show the most potential for practical application to farming systems and have shown methane emission reductions of 15–20%.

There are two approved methodologies under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) for using feed additives or supplements to reduce methane emissions and claim carbon credits.

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by feeding nitrates to beef cattle
  2. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through feeding dietary additives to milking cows

Adding nitrates to the diet at a specified rate optimizes rumen fermentation, and changes the pathway of hydrogen to produce ammonia rather than methane. This can have the dual effect of reducing methane emissions while improving or maintaining animal performance. We recommend that producers seek specialist advice before using this option because overdosing can result in nitrate poisoning.

In the approved methodology for feeding nitrates to beef cattle, nitrate salt licks are substituted for animals previously fed urea, and are potentially applicable outside of feedlots.

The use of dietary additives is currently approved only for grazing milking cows, and includes the addition of eligible additives to increase fat content of the diet to reduce methane emissions.

Co-benefits to using feed additives

There are several benefits:

  • The reduced volume of methane formation may lead to better efficiency of feed utilization, given that methane emissions represent a gross energy loss from feed intake of about 10%.
  • Addition of fats and oils to the diet are a source of energy to the animal, as well as reducing methane.

Opportunities to use feed additives or supplements:

  • Reduction of methane emissions through feed additives, such as fats and oils, can reduce methane production by about 18% and offer energy and protein to the animal. For a 600 cow dairy herd (producing 100kg of methane per head per year) methane emissions could be reduced by 372 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
  • Reducing methane emissions is deemed ‘additional’ to normal management practices.

 Risks from using feed additives or supplements to reduce methane emissions

There are several risks:

  • The amount of additive ingested by livestock in paddock grazing systems is hard to regulate. Feed additives are more effective in feedlots and dairies.
  • Toxicity leading to ill health or death of livestock can result if nitrate supplements are introduced suddenly or ingestion is too high.
  • Long-term and consistent positive production responses to the addition of feed additives have not been found. These responses are essential for the commercial application of feed additives.
  • Fluctuations in carbon price may result in reduced or lost profit margins in a carbon farming project.

Source:

https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-change/carbon-farming-reducing-methane-emissions-cattle-using-feed-additives

Carbon Farming (Part 02)2019-09-21T05:38:49+00:00

Carbon Farming (Part 01)

Carbon farming: reducing methane emissions from cattle using feed additives

Feed additives or supplements offer one approach to reduce methane emissions from ruminant livestock. Livestock produce significant amounts of methane as part of their normal digestive processes. Some feed additives can inhibit the microorganisms that produce methane in the rumen and subsequently reduce methane emissions.

Why we should reduce livestock emissions

In Australia, direct livestock emissions account for about 70% of greenhouse gas emissions by the agricultural sector and 11% of total national greenhouse gas emissions. This makes Australia’s livestock the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy and transport sectors. Livestock are the dominant source of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), accounting for 56% and 73%, respectively, of Australia’s emissions.

How methane is produced by ruminants

Ruminant livestock – cattle, sheep, buffalo, goats, deer and camels – have a fore-stomach (or rumen) containing microbes called methanogens, which are capable of digesting coarse plant material and which produce methane as a by-product of digestion (enteric fermentation): this methane is released to the atmosphere by the animal belching.

The amount of methane emitted by livestock is primarily driven by the number of animals, the type of digestive system they have and the type and amount of feed consumed. Ruminants are the principal source of livestock methane emissions because they produce the most methane per unit of feed consumed.

Carbon Farming (Part 01)2019-09-21T05:38:49+00:00