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Update on "Trial by Fire"

910 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  bstuart29
Well, if you'll remember our newly aquired dairy/cheeseplant was having troubles aplenty with our calvings the first month. Due to many things but mainly a serious selelenium deficiency I came to believe.
Well, now we are into the second month and things are much better on the calving front. About a month ago I built several hanging mineral feeders and put out loose minerals for the dry cows, the dairy herd and the fresh cows. They have gone through an easy 400 lbs of mineral since then(mostly the dry cows!). I also gave all the dry cows a selenium shot since the loose minerals would not have time to be properly assimilated before they calved. Since these measures were taken, we have had exactly 0 calving difficulties. All calves have been born with ease, big and small alike. Out of mostly pure Holstien cows.
I'm sure its not *all* due to the minerals.....But I know some of it is. I look forward to seeing more changes as their bodies use the minerals they are now getting.
Had the vet out to pregcheck and all the cows but 4 were carrying live calves. 3 of those four were open and one was carrying a mummy calf. We luted the mummy carrier twice and she shed the mummy after the second shot. So she is ready to be bred back in December when we put the bull in the herd.
Just thought I'd update you all in case you were interested.
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Hi Emily, just a note on the selenium thought. A couple of years ago we had a speaker at the Dexter yearly meeting and he spoke on the problems of selenium deficiency in cattle. At the time I didn't know if I agreed with him, kinda thougt he was a little over the top........but, I'm begining to wonder if it's not a bigger problem than we think. It's just not the first thing to come into our mind when a cow won't breed back or has breeding problems. Glad you got your herd lined out.............
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