Twisted stomachs

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Anonymous

I work at a dairy barn and for a year now almost every 2nd holstein that calves will get a twisted stomach within that month after calving. The cows were on this special feed ration that has every nutritional requirement needed by a lactating dairy cow. The dry cows are a ratio that is suppose to prevent twists (same with lactating cows). But it doesn't help. We have had around 15 cows die from this...after the surgery to repair the twist. Nothing seems to be helping. We went off the ration 3 months ago and stayed on the ration to prevent twists. Its hasn't helped out at all. We have had 2 more cows have twists this week. We have had feed analysis done, nutritionists look at the cows and the feed, vet out and cows into the clinic, dead animals taken in for a look at the vet college. But they say the cows are in excellent condition and feed is good. Anyone have any other ideas about what may be causing this. The dairy farm has been in business for many years (like over 30 or more) and have never had this happen till this past year. Any thoughts would be great!!!!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

The only thought I would have is the obvious, too short of fibers in the TMR

dun

> I work at a dairy barn and for a
> year now almost every 2nd holstein
> that calves will get a twisted
> stomach within that month after
> calving. The cows were on this
> special feed ration that has every
> nutritional requirement needed by
> a lactating dairy cow. The dry
> cows are a ratio that is suppose
> to prevent twists (same with
> lactating cows). But it doesn't
> help. We have had around 15 cows
> die from this...after the surgery
> to repair the twist. Nothing seems
> to be helping. We went off the
> ration 3 months ago and stayed on
> the ration to prevent twists. Its
> hasn't helped out at all. We have
> had 2 more cows have twists this
> week. We have had feed analysis
> done, nutritionists look at the
> cows and the feed, vet out and
> cows into the clinic, dead animals
> taken in for a look at the vet
> college. But they say the cows are
> in excellent condition and feed is
> good. Anyone have any other ideas
> about what may be causing this.
> The dairy farm has been in
> business for many years (like over
> 30 or more) and have never had
> this happen till this past year.
> Any thoughts would be great!!!!
 
OP
A

Anonymous

if it really happens this often, there's nothing wrong with the cows, it's the feed. probably a lack of fibre, the lack of structure in the food makes the stomachs turn. did they recently buy a mixer/feeder wagon? it could be that they just mix the feed too long. when they first came out here, a lot of farmers got the same problem.

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OP
A

Anonymous

The feed has been tested and we were told it has all the nutrient requirements needed for lactating dairy cows. As for the feed mixer, when the twists started we had a mixer that we have used for many years but this summer purchased a new mixer and it didn't seem to help matters or make them any worse than what they were.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I still thnk it's the feed somehow. It doesn't have to do with nutrients as much as fiber and bulk. With this ration are you feeding an adequate amount of roughage?

dun

> The feed has been tested and we
> were told it has all the nutrient
> requirements needed for lactating
> dairy cows. As for the feed mixer,
> when the twists started we had a
> mixer that we have used for many
> years but this summer purchased a
> new mixer and it didn't seem to
> help matters or make them any
> worse than what they were.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

i'm with dun here. make sure they are getting enough rough fibres. it's like if you would just eat egs and saugage, no veggies and no bread for a few days. you'ld think there's a vulcano in your guts. same thing for the cattle.

the twisting of stomachs has much to do with peristaltic movement of he guts (intestine muscle that contracts and relaxes to move feed forward in the system. these muscle movements are caused by neurotic impulses, activated by rough fibres in the stomachs and intestine. if the impulses are too weak, movement is bad and colics result.

on a large, almost epidemical scale, it has to be this. always remember cattle need more then just the required nutrients. otherwise we'ld be feeding them pills containing just what they need.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Yeah the cows are on silage (I'm not sure whether they went back on hay as well in the mix, they took that out of the feed to see if that was the problem). But the roughage consists of about 70%, maybe a bit lower or higher, don't exactly know the amount. Cows are fed twice a day at the same time every day.
 
OP
A

Anonymous

It's not just the percentage of roughage, it has more to do with the length of the roughage. 3 inches would be the minimum, 4 inches would be better. A lot of silage is chopped way to short and requires mixing with long fiber hay to provide what is needed.

dun

Yeah the cows are on silage (I'm
> not sure whether they went back on
> hay as well in the mix, they took
> that out of the feed to see if
> that was the problem). But the
> roughage consists of about 70%,
> maybe a bit lower or higher, don't
> exactly know the amount. Cows are
> fed twice a day at the same time
> every day.
 

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