Cow Longevity Conference - speaker interviews

Some of the speakers were interviewed prior to the conference. Theý shared their views on the subject of cow longevity and lifetime production, and explained what they in their respective field of expertise would talk about at the conference.

Cow longevity conference 2013

The importance of improving cow longevity

Interview with Jeff Rushen, University of British Columbia

Improving cow comfort and health doesn't have to involve heavy investments and big changes.

"It doesn't have to be a radical thing, like building a new barn. There are some very simple things that can be done to reduce diseases and injuries, that don't cost that much. And we know they work!"

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Cow Longevity Conference 2013

Maximized feed intake – access and consumption

Interview with Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph

“What we see in the industry is that cows aren’t lasting very long in our herds. Too often they are being culled too early, either voluntarily or involuntarily. I do view this as an issue, because I think there are a lot of things we could be taking advantage of. There is a lot of knowledge out there, and more knowledge to come, so if we put all this together we can get more longevity out of our cows.”

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Cow longevity conference 2013

Keeping the growing herd on its feet

Interview with Steven Berry, dairy management & health specialist

Steven Berry will talk about lameness prevention, detection and treatment on the conference's second day. He finds the question about cow longevity interesting but complicated.

"If we have decided to eat beef, and the beef cattle are slaughtered at 15-18 months of age, why is there an issue if dairy cows are slaughtered after two or three lactations and then used for human consumption? What concerns me is the welfare of the cow while she is alive. To prevent diseases and keep her healthy."

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Cow Longevity Conference 2013

Getting a head start in life

Interview with Mike van Amburg, Cornell University

"If you think longevity you have to think life cycle, and the life cycle doesn't start the moment the cow calves. It starts the moment she is born. Actually it starts before that, at the moment she is conceived. Our job with calf management is to continue what the mother started in utero and continue her job, reinforcing the positive things she has done. This is where the sustainable process has to start."

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Cow longevity conference 2013

The value of keeping cows in the herd

Interview with Albert de Vries, University of Florida

"We should take better care of our cows so that they can at least survive the first several months of lactation, and stay healthy. If we make culling decisions on healthy cows we have more freedom of choice than if we have animals that either die or get sick in early lactation. With a dead cow there is no income and no choice," says Albert De Vries from University of Florida.
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Cow Longevity Conference 2013

Designing for longevity

Interview with Christer Bergsten, Swedish University of Agriculture

During the second session of day 1 the focus will be on the cow's environment and how we can design the barn to best support her. Christer Bergsten from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences will talk about the importance of walking and standing surfaces.

"Floor design is closely related to lameness, which in turn is related to cow longevity and sustainability," he says.

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Cow longevity conference 2013

Fertility problems in high-yielding dairy cows – how to avoid them

Interview with Geert Opsomer, University of Ghent

“I don’t think there is enough awareness about the need to reduce the culling rate in modern dairy cows and at the same time the industry clearly lacks a thorough discussion about the reasons for culling. Directly or indirectly, infertility is one of the most common reasons why dairy cows get culled. Directly, because they are not getting pregnant, or indirectly, because cows with prolonged calving intervals run a high risk of suffering from a wide variety of other diseases.”

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Cow longevity conference 2013

The transition cow needs space and comfort

Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The transition period of a dairy cow, typically defined as the time from three weeks both before and after calving, is the primary risk period where over 75% of all adult cow disease events occur. This period has a very central place in determining dairy cow health and performance throughout the lactation. Ken Nordlund, clinical professor in the Food Animal Production Medicine group in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present the key management factors related to fresh cow health in our modern confinement dairy industry.

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Monica Wadsworth

Monica Wadsworth
85 articles

Writer at Milkproduction.com

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Milkproduction.com

Milkproduction.com

Cow longevity conference 2013