Good Nutrition Key to Health and Production at PAPAS Dairy
Maintaining good nutrition is central to the management approach at PAPAS Dairy to promote health and productivity. As part of that commitment, the dairy has incorporated OmniGen-AF®, a unique and patented product from Phibro Animal Health, into its rations.
Dairy cows face many sources of stress year-round, both expected and unexpected, that can weaken their immune system, leaving them more susceptible to health issues. OmniGen-AF is recommended to be fed to all dry, pre-fresh and lactating cows to help support normal immune function.
Research has demonstrated that continual use of OmniGen-AF helps support normal immune function which may result in fewer health events, a lower somatic cell count (SCC) and fewer cases of mastitis and metritis. This, in turn, may lead to increased herd efficiency, fewer unplanned culls and lower overall costs.
David Burnham, nutritionist for Phoenix Feeds, said supplementing cow diets supports the dairy farm’s goals. “PAPAS strives for high milk production, so good health is very important,” he said. “Supporting immune function helps achieve that goal.”
Aaron Poupore, PAPAS Dairy co-owner, said the dairy began feeding OmniGen-AF several years ago. “Since then, SCC has gotten better, overall health has improved and milk production is much steadier,” he says.
For additional information about supporting immune function, visit www.TheOmniGenDifference.com.
Nutrition and Transition Cow Management
Nutrition is also important to transition cow management at PAPAS. The dairy recently began incorporating Phibro’s Animate® nutritional specialty product in pre-fresh cow diets to help reduce the risk of low blood calcium around the time of calving.
“By including Animate in a negative DCAD (dietary cation-anion difference) diet, milk fever and subclinical hypocalcaemia are no longer issues at PAPAS Dairy,” Burnham says. “And because it is more palatable than other anionic products, cows did not reduce their feed intake.”
In addition to proper nutrition, Poupore notes that the dairy adheres to other management practices to support health and productivity. These include following strict milking protocols and promoting cow comfort by changing sand bedding three times a week and having plenty of fans to keep animals cool during warm weather.
Like other dairy producers, PAPAS has looked for ways to trim expenses during the recent downturn in milk prices, but they continue to feed OmniGen-AF and Animate to their herd. “I didn’t want to make any cuts that would affect cow health,” Poupore says. “In the long-run, maintaining good health and nutrition is the best strategy to maximize performance and profitability.”
For additional information about Animate, visit www.Animate-Dairy.com.