cows in field

Recent Odairy Discussions, April, 2015

By Liz Bawden, Organic Dairy Farmer, NODPA President

Added April 1, 2015. A Jersey cross heifer calf was born small and relatively weak. The farmer gave 1cc of Selenium with her first colostrum. The next day she spiked a fever, showed runny eyes and was not too interested in eating. She was also licking the concrete wall. Suggestions from the group included giving homeopathic Aconite for sudden symptoms, 1cc of Immunoboost along with some aloe, 2 to 3 cc per day of garlic and/or Echinacea tinctures and Vitamins C and D to boost her immune system, the intranasal vaccine Inforce 3 for the viral pneumonia, and Bovi-sera or Multi -serum for increased antibody protection. It was also suggested to offer some loose Redmond salt since she appeared to be searching for minerals. Belladonna was suggested to bring the fever down.
Despite feeding kelp, a farmer had a problem with lice on some of his cows, especially on the young stock. It was suggested that feeding Agri-Dynamics Flies-B-Gone would help; the sulfur helps to get rid of lice and mange. A vet on the list suggested caution in feeding much sulfur – too much can cause serious damage; he suggested consulting a nutritionist to determine an appropriate level. For immediate treatment, a calendula ointment was suggested to smother the lice.

Another producer had a group of yearlings with severe ringworm. It was recommended that the farmer increase the protein in the diet and use oregano essential oil mixed with olive oil externally.

And since it is winter, we had some farms talking about winter dysentery. A novice farmer was concerned, but was reassured that it would eventually pass. Some suggestions included increasing the minerals, feeding probiotics (one producer fed the affected cows sauerkraut juice as a probiotic), cutting out silages and feeding only dry grass hay, aloe pellets, kelp, and garlic or garlic tincture.

A farmer had problem with birds making holes in his shrink-wrapped round bales, especially in the first cut bales. Some suggestions included a product called Bale Armour to cover the tops of the bales, tossing some long black lengths of hose on top of the bales to resemble snakes (you have to move them periodically), and using a dark colored plastic wrap. It was also noted that storing the bales at the home farm always means less damage from wildlife that leaving the bales in the field.

Liz farms with her husband and son in Hammond, NY. You can reach Liz by phone or email: 315-324-6926,