HD Notebook

Calving isn’t always easy

Tue, 01/06/2015

Dystocia impacts the cow and calf in many ways, but one of the greatest concerns is the elevated risk of stillbirths.

By Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor


“One of the most important events on a dairy is calving,” said Mark Thomas, D.V.M., a New York veterinarian and consultant with Dairy Health and Management Services, LLC.

During his presentation at the Calf and Heifer Congress in Rochester, N.Y., Thomas emphasized that the events that occur before, during and after parturition can have a significant impact on the livelihood of the cow and calf. Read more

2015 Cow Judging Contest goes digital

Mon, 01/05/2015

A new way to enter the contest debuts in 2015

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Online Cow Judging ScreenshotPrint or digital, it’s the same contest . . . with the same cows . . . and the same judges. The only difference . . . You can view the five classes and enter electronically.

For 85 years the Hoard’s Dairyman Cow Judging Contest has provided education and entertainment for the millions who have entered. While only a few individuals sort their way to the very top, it provides a competitive learning opportunity in a fun way. Read more

Best Blogs of 2014: Smarter calves come in pairs

Tue, 03/04/2014

Calves raised in pairs may be cognitively superior to their individually housed counterparts, new research shows.


by Abby Bauer, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

Group housing is becoming a more popular and acceptable way to raise dairy calves. Besides feeding and health benefits, new research shows that raising calves in a group setting might also make them smarter.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted an experiment where calves housed in pairs were taught an easy task. Calves entered a test pen and could approach a black bottle to receive milk or a white bottle to receive nothing. The calves learned rapidly and soon all knew to only approach the black bottle. Read more

Best blogs of 2014: Are you your farm’s problem?

Mon, 07/14/2014

Ten steps to improve your dairy that don’t cost a dime.


by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

Growth. Also known as improvement, advancement, prosperity or profit. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “progressive development.”

Growth on your dairy farm doesn’t necessarily mean adding more cows, diversifying with an on-site creamery or cropping more acres. Growth can be encouraged daily, by your actions, how you conduct business, interact with employees or solve challenges, and those things certainly impact your balance sheet.

Last week, I read an article by John C. Maxwell, a renowned author and expert on leadership and self-development, titled “Is Your Environment Holding You Back?” He touched on 10 characteristics of growth that should be present in a business:

  1. Others are ahead of you, benchmarks.
  2. You are continually challenged.

Best blogs of 2014: The night calves just kept coming

Mon, 02/17/2014

Hoard’s Dairyman editors not only write about the dairy industry, but live it each day. After giving his family farm’s herdsman off for the weekend, four cows in the herd of 65 calved from midnight to 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

by Corey Geiger, Hoard's Dairyman Managing Editor

Since 1899, the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm has played a pivotal role in keeping our editors grounded in the reality of reporting science and, at the same time, making it practical for our extremely busy dairy farm readers. While each of our editors have interactions with the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm manager and his staff, five of the six editorial staffers who write for our publication count themselves among the nation’s 50,000 dairy farm families. As a result, we not only write about the dairy industry but also live it each day. What follows is a lighthearted account of one editor’s experiences on his family’s dairy farm one weekend. — The Editors Read more

Best blogs of 2014: No longer scared of sand

Thu, 07/31/2014

A Pennsylvania dairy combines cow comfort and an easier way to handle sand-laden manure.


by Maggie Seiler, Hoard’s Dairyman Editorial Intern

Comfortable cows or easily maintained manure systems. It seems like many dairy producers feel they must choose between one or the other. Sand has a strong reputation for enhancing cow comfort and lowering somatic cell counts while remaining an inexpensive bedding choice. However, many dairies must also consider how to handle the bedding once it has been used. Sand is not only hard on equipment but can be especially difficult on manure separators and digesters. Read more

Best Blogs of 2014: Save the date with Hoard’s Dairyman

Mon, 11/17/2014

This couple thought the magazine was a fitting prop for their wedding announcement.

save the date photo with Hoard's Dairyman

by Ali Enerson, Hoard’s Dairyman Special Publications Editor

This love story may not have started in the Hoard’s Dairyman, but the happy couple is no stranger to the magazine. Growing up on farms, the Dairyman often graced the family dinner table at both Ashley and Phil’s childhood homes, so adding the magazine into their save the date photo (pictured above) for their upcoming wedding was natural. Read more

Best blogs of 2014: What were the odds?

Thu, 07/10/2014

What appeared to be a “normal” calving turned out to be anything but.

twin heifer calves

by Amanda Smith, Hoard’s Dairyman Associate Editor

It’s that feeling of hope. The red-carrier Holstein (carrying one copy of the recessive red gene) was bred to a Red and White bull (carrying two copies of the red coat color gene). There was a 50-50 chance that the cow would give birth to the red calf that was desired. And, it’s happened many times before.

But when when we pulled into the farm’s driveway after running errands, we came to an abrupt halt, noticing a small addition in the dry cow pasture. It was black, not red, and that feeling of hope turned to disappointment. Read more

My favorite thing at World Dairy Expo

Fri, 10/10/2014

A new calf bottle stood out amidst all the bright, shiny equipment.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

calf bottleOf the thousands of products on display at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., last week, the one that most captured my attention was a few ounces of high density polypropylene plastic – in the form of a BIG calf feeding bottle.

Yes, a calf bottle… but one that holds 4 quarts (pictured on the left next to 2- and 3-quart bottles).

The 1-gallon giant is a partnership between Calf-Tel, which manufactures and sells them, and Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products. It gives dairy producers another valuable tool to help deliver “full potential feeding” and nutrition to unweaned calves. Read more

Best blogs of 2014: Dairy communities unite to help their own

Wed, 09/03/2014

When times are tough, the ag family is one of the most supportive around.

by Patti Hurtgen, Hoard’s Dairyman Online Media Manager

Patricia Stiles**Update on Reece and Hans:
Hans had a successful second stem-cell transplant and is back home. He is doing well and is working little by little at the farm again.

Reese is still is in the hospital, but is upbeat as she makes progress. Her vivacious personality shows through as her body continues to heal. She’s chatty and talks to everyone she encounters.

The majority of people in registered Holstein and Jersey circles and across the East Coast are aware of the Memorial Day fire where grandmother Patricia Stiles demonstrated bravery in action when entering the bedroom engulfed in flames to rescue her 7-year-old granddaughter, Reese, who was visiting. Read more

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