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Importance of Water-Dairy Calves

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July 24  |  Dairy, Farm, farmers, farms, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

Following is an excellent and timely article from Progressive Dairyman magazine –

The award-winning magazine’s editors and contributors provide compelling features, helpful articles, insightful news analysis, and entertaining commentary about the people, practices and topics related to a dairy lifestyle.

Why high-quality water matters for calf success

Contributed by Ellan Dufour Published on 30 May 2018

Often overlooked, water is the most important nutrient for dairy calves. It is required for all of life’s processes including the transport, digestion and metabolism of nutrients, the elimination of waste materials and excess heat from the body, and the maintenance of a proper fluid-ion balance in the body.

The role of water in young calves

Offering calves free-choice water is critical for stimulating rumen development, improving grain fermentation and promoting starter intake. The quality of water offered can play a major role in calf health and nutrient utilization.

Rumen development: Unlike milk and milk replacer, water consumed by young calves is transported to the rumen rather than the abomasum. Water in the rumen provides a medium for ruminal bacteria to ferment starter feed, grain and hay. Rumen development is slowed in the absence of water.

Improved growth: Calves offered free-choice water in addition to their liquid diet are shown to gain weight faster and consume dry feed quicker than calves only receiving water through their milk or milk replacer.

Calf health: Calves are about 70 to 75 percent water by bodyweight and need to consume fresh water in order to maintain normal cellular functions. Dehydration can lead to weakness, severe weight loss and even death. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, dry mouth and nose, tacky gums, depressed demeanor, irregular pulse and cold legs and ears.

How much and when?

  • Pre-weaning: On average, calves consume 1 quart of water per pound of dry matter intake.
  • Post-weaning: Calves should consume 2 quarts of water per pound of dry matter intake. This ratio should extend through the heifer growing period.
  • Hot weather: Expect water consumption to increase by 33 percent or more as temperatures reach the high 70s, and anticipate it may double as temperatures pass 90ºF.

Factors affecting water quality

Offering poor-quality water to the young calf may impact water consumption and starter intake, calf health, rumen development and the value of milk replacer and electrolytes. There are many criteria involved in assessing water quality. These include organoleptic properties (odor and taste), physiochemical properties (pH, total dissolved solids [TDS], total soluble salts and hardness), presence of toxic compounds, presence of excess minerals or compounds (see Table 1), and presence of bacteria.

Hardness: Calves are very sensitive to sodium and struggle to tolerate excess sodium levels. Soft water or hard water that has passed through a water softener can have very high concentrations of sodium and should not be used to mix milk replacer or be offered as drinking water unless tested. High sodium levels can lead to neurological diseases and central nervous system derangement in young calves.

Osmolarity: In situations where total solids are high in milk or milk replacer (over 15 percent), offering high-quality water can sustain the osmotic equilibrium in a calf. High total solids can force water out of cells in an effort to find osmotic balance within the gut and can result in diarrhea and severe dehydration. Water provision is especially important for calves fed an accelerated milk replacer program to ensure proper hydration.

Bacteria: Coliform bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella may be present in poor-quality water or water contaminated by feces and can quickly and exponentially increase to dangerous levels in a calf if consumed. In both cases, calves may suffer from severe dehydration and diarrhea. Salmonella may also result in pneumonia and septicemia in infected animals. Water with high iron content is at an increased risk of salmonella contamination.

Minerals: Calves are more sensitive to elevated mineral levels than adult cattle, making excessive mineral concentrations in drinking water a particular concern. Upper concentrations and maximum tolerable concentrations of minerals for dairy cattle are shown in Table 1 (below). Minerals of particular concern when in high concentrations include cobalt, copper, iron, hydrogen sulfide, manganese and sulfur.

Take-home messages

  • Ensure calves are consistently provided with clean, fresh, and readily available water.
  • Keep water buckets clean and free of contamination from starter feed and feces.
  • Know the least expensive and most efficient method available to modify mineral and microbial concentration of water offered to calves.
  • Check your water quality frequently. At minimum, water fed to calves should be tested annually.

Ellan Dufour is a dairy research nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds.Source: https://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/calves-heifers/why-high-quality-water-matters-for-calf-success

 

 

To download a pdf version of this article, please click here

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Video

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June 25  |  antibiotics, Beef, crops, Dairy, Farm, farmers, farms, food safety, Immune System, Livestock, Nutrition, Poultry, Research, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

We invite you to view our short 3 minute presentation to introduce you to Puroxi Pure Water Global Inc. ~ an international company recognized as a leader in Water Treatment for farms, crops, residential, municipal, commercial applications.

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Drugs in Our Water

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February 8  |  Editorial, Immune System, News, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

What do all these have in common?

  1. Prescription drugs such as hormones (birth control pills, estrogen replacement drugs, etc.), antidepressants, and antibiotics; and,
  2. Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.), cold/flu remedies, and antiseptics (germ killing liquids); and,
  3. Veterinary medicines.

They have all been detected in rivers, lakes and coastal waters throughout the United States and Europe in increasing concentrations of parts per billion to parts per trillion.

There are two ways that medications enter the sewer system and wind up at a wastewater treatment plant: (1) excretion by the human body in urine and feces and (2) disposal of unused or expired medications down the toilet or drain.

Wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove conventional pollutants such as solids and biodegradable materials; they are not designed to remove man-made pollutants such as medications,  which are only partially destroyed and then discharged to rivers or the ocean. These same water bodies are the source of drinking water for many communities, so there is a growing concern about long-term health effects on humans, fish, and animals.  

The growing concern has also spawned numerous scientific studies by various governments, institutions, and NGOs.  Recent studies have found that human drugs can disrupt the biology and behavior of fish and other aquatic life at very low concentrations.  Of particular concern is the alarming increase of hormone disruptive chemicals being found in our waterways,  which affect the conception, development, puberty, and procreation.  One news report calls these “Gender Bending Chemicals” because of their effect on male development.

William Duke photo credit

What are the solutions?  Stop flushing unused medications, vitamins, etc. down the sink or toilet.  Lobby your municipality and local governments to install more effective processing systems, such as, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation, UV and hydrogen peroxide.

Sources used for this article:

http://paper.li/f-1366553404#!health

http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/science/2015/02/06/001-medicament-eau-poissons.shtml

http://www.beachapedia.org/Drugs_in_the_Water

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/06/17/Gender-Bending-Chemicals/

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/11707/

http://www.jsonline.com/news/health/

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FDA voluntary guidelines to restrict non-therapeutic use of antibiotics`

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July 13  |  antibiotics, Beef, Farm, farmers, farms, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Nutrition, Opinion, Pork, Poultry, Research  |   Webmaster

In December, the FDA asked animal health companies to voluntarily stop using antibiotics to promote growth of meatier cows, pigs, and other livestock.  This is known as non-therapeutic use.

According to a recent report by the FDA, 25 sponsors confirmed in writing their intent to engage with FDA as defined in Guidance #213 and have given FDA consent to list their names in this update.  These 25 sponsors hold 99.6 percent of the applications affected by Guidance #213 and include subsidiaries of Bayer and Eli-Lilly.

Click here for a complete list of companies represented.

The guidelines are meant to thwart the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which some scientists blame on antibiotics in the food supply. Drug-resistant bacteria strike 2 million Americans a year and cause 23,000 deaths, according to the CDC. The FDA has long been under fire for failing to keep a lid on antibiotic use in farm animals. In January, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report containing evidence that the FDA’s scientists were aware of 18 farm antibiotics that posed a high risk of spawning antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

However, critics claim that 89 percent of antibiotic drugs that the guidelines advise against using to speed growth can still be given to healthy animals for other reasons, such as disease prevention. They also contend that since the system is voluntary, it gives the pharamaceutical companies too much discretion and leeway in conducting their own policy and enforcement methods, especially on large factory farms, and with easily obtained OTC (over the counter) drugs.  Critics are demanding a complete ban on antibiotics/ antimicrobials for non-therapeutic use.

Following is a link to a recent Reuters News article which offers a well-balanced summary of this story.

Reuters U.S. Edition – March 27, 2014.
 

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Health Canada restricts use of antibiotics

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July 13  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, farmers, farms, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, Livestock, Opinion, Pork, Poultry  |   Webmaster

Health Canada restricts use of antibiotics for growth in livestock

In an effort to curb drug-resistant superbugs, Health Canada is restricting the use of antibiotics in livestock.

Producers will no longer be allowed to continuously feed animals low-level doses as a way to promote growth.

Dr. Trisha Dowling, a pharmacologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says penicillin and tetracycline have long been fed to livestock in order to reduce the workload of animals’ immune systems, thereby causing them to grow faster using less feed.

She says in many cases, products specifically marketed as growth-promotants are older drugs that have fallen out of use in humans as bacteria have developed resistance.

The rules do still allow in-feed antibiotics as a preventative measure against disease.

Dowling says that in many cases, the exception means business-as-usual for producers.

She says this was especially true in the poultry industry, where improved growth is essentially a side benefit for producers using the drugs to prevent infections that can wipe out whole barns if they get a foothold.

“If you don’t put (antibiotics) in the feed, and you wait until you get an outbreak of necrotic enteritis, you’ve got a lot of dead birds and you’ve lost a lot of money,” she said.

On the cattle side, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association CEO Craig Douglas said most producers don’t feed antibiotics.

“Without singling out any other industry — it’s other sectors where that’s been more of a standard procedure,” he said.

Douglas said most ranchers only reach for the antibiotics when an animal is clearly unwell.

“They’re not medicating their animals unless their sick,” he said, adding that costs as high as $500 per animal tends to keep the use of injected antibiotics in check.

~ The Canadian Press – Friday, July 11, 2014

 

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Water – “Nature’s Medicine”

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November 3  |  climate change, crops, Editorial, Farm, Latest News, Opinion, safe drinking water, water conservation, water preservation, water stewardship  |   Webmaster

Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.

80% of all illness in the developing world comes from waterborne diseases.

So, the most valuable medicine we could provide is a simple, clean glass of water.

Our SolarBag can help. It offers households anywhere in the world, the world’s best detoxification and disinfection solution for pennies a day.

 Access to safe drinking water has improved over the last decades in almost every part of the world, but approximately one billion people still lack access to safe water and over 2.5 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.[1]

Imprtance of Water

There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita.[2] However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability.[3] A report, issued in November 2009, suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%.[4] Approximately 70% of the fresh water used by humans goes to agriculture.[5]

References:
  1. “MDG Report 2008”. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  2. “Public Services”, Gapminder video
  3. Kulshreshtha, S.N (1998). “A Global Outlook for Water Resources to the Year 2025”. Water Resources Management 12 (3): 167–184. doi:10.1023/A:1007957229865.
  4. “Charting Our Water Future: Economic frameworks to inform decision-making” (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  5. Baroni, L.; Cenci, L.; Tettamanti, M.; Berati, M. (2007). “Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems”. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61 (2): 279–286. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602522. PMID 17035955.

 

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Antibiotics in Meat

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July 18  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Opinion, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

The resistance to over-use of antibiotics is gaining steam throughout North America after the recent release of a detailed study by Consumers Report.  Apparently 82% of those surveyed said that they would buy antibiotic-free meat and poultry if it were available. This sounds quite convincing and seems to endorse the position of the Consumers Union and its supporters:  (FixFood, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Natural Resources Defense Council, etc.)

However, closer inspection reveals that it was 82% of the 24% of respondents who said that the stores where they shopped did not offer antibiotic-free meat/poultry.  That in fact amounts to less than 20% of the total people surveyed.

Most large cattle ranchers and hog and chicken farmers put antibiotics in  either feed or water to help their livestock process food more efficiently and  to bulk up faster.  Veterinarians and cattle experts argue that using small doses of antibiotics  as a preventive measure cuts the risk of an animal getting sick by 25 percent to  50 percent.

But many scientists and medical doctors believe giving antibiotics to animals  when they are not sick contributes to more drug-resistant infections, known as “superbugs” in humans.  The most recent data used by the “no antibiotics” camp is a 2002 report released by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.  It states that the “vast majority” of the 99,000 people who died from hospital-acquired infections, were caused by antibiotic-resistant infections.

Undoubtedly, this debate will rage on for some time.  It may even become a political hot button approaching the November primaries.  For more information on this topic, we have listed some links below. 

http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2012/06/consumer-reports-poll-majority-of-americans-want-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-sold-at-local-supermarkets.html

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/06/antibiotics-are-widely-used-by-u-s-meat-industry/index.htm

http://notinmyfood.org/press_release/consumers-union-launches-marketplace-campaign-for-meat-raised-without-antibiotics

http://www.meatwithoutdrugs.org/#the-issue

Also, for those who prefer to examine their options, we have included a real-time map of farms, markets, eateries and retailers who serve meat raised without excessive use of antibiotics.

http://www.realtimefarms.com/fixantibiotics

http://blog.realtimefarms.com/2012/06/21/real-time-farms-powers-the-fixantibiotics-food-finder/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog

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Editor’s Note:

Oxy Blast customers report drastic reduction in the need to use  anitbiotics and report improved health and weight gains in all species.

 

 

 

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How much do you know about Milk?

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June 30  |  Dairy, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

Some very interesting facts about milk.  It’s been around for so long that we tend to take it all for granted.  The following link is a very informative infographic from the Dairy Council of California.

Thanks to Ellen, who posted it on her blog – 

http://www.durrerce.blogspot.fr/2012/06/how-much-do-you-know-about-milk.html

 

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Alternative to Antibiotics

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June 30  |  antibiotics, Case Studies, Dairy, Farm, food safety, Livestock, News, Nutrition  |   Webmaster

In an ongoing effort to reduce the dependence and amount of antibiotics used in farming, USDA scientists at College Station, TX have discovered that providing sodium chlorate in the drinking water or feed of livestock will reduce the intestinal concentrations of bacteria harmful to humans.

You can read a summary of the report here:  http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/usda-makes-progress-on-alternatives-to-antibiotics/

 

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Antibiotic Farm Use

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June 30  |  antibiotics, Case Studies, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Livestock, News, Nutrition, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

The use and/or overuse of antibiotics on farms continues to generate controversy.  While opposite sides continue to argue their respective positions, we feel that it’s important to maintain a level-headed position and research and examine all of the facts. 

Without a doubt, antibiotics have improved the quality of life for all of us, including our livestock and food sources.   Can you imagine a world without anitbiotics?  Scary indeed!

We strongly agree with the agricultural community that a responsible antibiotic regimen is essential to maintaining a safe, healthy and efficient operation.  However, it’s also common knowledge that antibiotic use has surged during the past decade, which has many experts worried that we are creating a dangerous level of resistance to bacteria and viruses.

The prestigious journal Nature this week called for reining in the use of antibiotics in agriculture, adding to the growing chorus of scientists and public health advocates seeking reforms.  The editorial noted that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock raising is a global issue, in part because pathogens do not respect international borders — “As long as any one country pumps its pigs and poultry full of drugs, everyone is at risk.”

Following are links to the report and comments.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/journal-nature-farmers-should-rein-in-antibiotic-use-worldwide/

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7404/full/486440a.html

While the debate rages on, and various special interest groups lobby all levels of government, please don’t blame the farmers! They are all working hard to ensure that we all have safe, healthy food to feed our families, and also incurring a lot of extra expense in doing so. 

We would like to remind you that one of the many benefits of using our Oxy Blast products is the reduced dependency on antibiotics.  Why?  Because they help antibiotics work more effectively and efficiently!  This has proven to be an economical option for many of our clients.

We invite you to watch our short movie presentation at www.oxyblast.org/movie, introducing our products and services.

 

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