This sire is an A2A2 sire and has the sire “Waterberg” in his bloodlines. “Waterberg” sired many daughters in North America and was seen to have passed on good udders to his progeny. “Ziehsohn” has a TMI of 120 and scores high on feet and legs and fertility.
The bull of the Metz line is an excellent F2 bull for “Waldhoer” daughters. Also can be used as an F1 bull and is easy calving. “Huscaran” runs in his blood line who sired excellent cross red cows. Very solid through the back and good high udders. His father is “Meru” who sires strength and balanced animals. In future the longevity of these will be a primary trait.
Iskara – a son of Ilja with a TMI of 118 and of the “Redad” blood line is an excellent strength choice bull for longevity. He is a genomic A2A2 bull and has good calving ease and great persistence. He would a strong choice as an F1 bull. A high suspensory ligament score makes for a high udder attachment.
Humane And Ethical Treatment Of Down Cattle
We have all seen this miserable problem form time to time and the downer cow is a fact of life on a dairy farm. Hopefully with the aid of this report, the incidence can be reduced or remedied and minimized at your farm. Using dual purpose Fleckvieh milking cows definitely will give you the so called “slight edge” on this. Reviewing here is the extra strength and muscling that is part of the Fleckvieh cow. She simply has stronger legs and this keeps her from doing the splits more so than a less muscled more frail type of dairy milking cow. This principle applies also during transportation and the more dairy type of animal by virtue of her unfortunate weakness in her legs has to be shipped at a lower density than more muscly cattle. A reduction in loading density of up to 15% is recommended. But even on solid ground, the thinner dairy style cow is disadvantaged.
This animal has reached a point in time where a problem is inevitable;
Excerpts from Dr. Ryan Leiterman`s review of the downer cow issue , D.V.M. of Crystal Creek at crystalcreeknatural.com
Dealing with downer cattle is a problem that faces every dairy in the United States at one time or another.
The sheer size of cattle makes their movement and treatment problematic. Often times moving down cattle requires the use of heavy machinery and if done inappropriately it can injure the animal further. Downer cattle and their treatment is one of the largest animal welfare issues facing the dairy industry today. Developing a protocol for dealing with down cattle on your dairy is an important aspect of ensuring that all downer animals are dealt with in a practical, humane fashion.
Here is a simple diagram you can post up in your farm to help staff (open the link below) :
Why Cattle Become Downers
Cattle have many reasons for becoming recumbent, or down. Most down cows are down as a result of injuries like splaying out/splitting or calving paralysis, metabolic diseases such as milk fever or grass tetany or infectious diseases like toxic mastitis or toxic metritis. With any of these conditions, a timely and accurate diagnosis of why the animal is down along with appropriate medical therapy will improve their chances of recovery.
Most down cattle respond positively to treatment and get up. For those that do not rise after initial treatment, they will often need to be moved from one location on the farm to another to facilitate recovery. For example, a cow that slips in the parlor and cannot rise may need to be moved to a deeply bedded pack as a part of her recovery. The sheer size of most cattle makes practical, humane movement difficult and often times frustrating. The number one rule in moving down cattle is to always be patient and never try to move a down cow alone. Simply dragging cattle by a halter or a chain around the neck is unacceptable and exposes the animal to further trauma and abrasions. Loading cattle into skid loader buckets may be an easy way to move down cattle but this exposes the animal to potential injury from the loading process and is also unacceptable. Also, these animals are not secured in the bucket and may injure themselves from uncontrolled thrashing during transport. Hip hoists are tools that if used inappropriately can cause severe trauma and should not be used as a tool to move a down cow. The pressure exerted on the hips of a cow with a hip hoist is immense and can often lead to severe muscle damage and bruising and may even cause permanent damage if used for too long a duration. The days of using hip lifters have come and are pretty much going.
The best way to move down cattle is to get two to four people to roll a cow onto a flat transport mat. Check out this source:
Thick, heavy rubber mats specifically designed for moving down cattle are commercially available (see website). The cow is rolled onto the mat and the mat is attached to a tractor or skid loader and slowly moved to the treatment area or she can be gently transported in the sling. Some dairy farms use an old eight foot steel gate with plywood on top to roll the cow onto. Once on the gate, the cow can be moved to the treatment area without abrasions or trauma from the move. Remember to always halter the cow before rolling her. The halter will give the people moving her control over her head and it can also be used to assist in controlling the animal during the move. It cannot be stressed enough that moving a down cow is a process that will involve multiple (2-4) people on the dairy if it is to be done humanely.
When to Involve the Veterinarian
Determining the exact cause of why a cow is down and administering successful treatment can be one of the most difficult parts of a veterinarian’s day. When the on farm staff does not know why the animal is down, or cannot treat the condition keeping the animal down, a veterinarian should become involved. A veterinarian is also uniquely qualified to determine the prognosis of down cattle and make recommendations on which animals have a high likelihood of recovery and which ones should be humanely euthanized. If you are unsure if a down cow is suffering or should be put down it is important that veterinary advice is sought in a timely manner.
Practical Cattle Euthanasia
When it becomes unlikely that a down cow will recover enough to stand, euthanasia of that animal becomes an important option. The definition of euthanasia is “the intentional causing of a painless and easy death to a patient suffering from an incurable or painful disease”. Cattle with incurable conditions such as bone fractures or severe infections should be euthanized. Criteria to consider when making the decision if a cow should be euthanized include: 1) pain and stress being experienced by animal 2) likelihood of recovery 3) ability to provide adequate feed and water 4) medications involved in treatment 5) probability of condemnation at slaughter and 6) economic factors governing treatment. On many dairies the most practical form of euthanasia is either by lethal injection by the veterinarian or by gun shot. If using a gun to disrupt the brain, a caliber greater than a .22 should be used. A deer rifle or shotgun with slugs is an appropriate caliber. Draw two lines with tail chalk. One from the inside corner of the left eye to the base of the right ear and the other from the inside corner of the right eye to the base of the left ear. Where the lines cross is where the brain is and where the shot should be delivered.
This guide can be downloaded and printed off for on farm use.
Dr. Leiterman is a consultant for Crystal Creek, Inc.
In Addition to the use of mates, you may want o look at using actual water float tanks to get a cow up. Here are a couple of links on the subject:
http://aquacowsystem.com/products.htm insert pics
Another article and resource:
Fleckvieh is a hardy breed that can resist diseases, eats less and produces more high quality milk. Kenyan dairy farmers are used to the common exotic breeds of dairy cows such as the Holstein-Fresians, Ayrshire, Guernsey or even Jerseys.
For two years now, a new cattle breed has attracted the attention of Kenyan dairy farmers: Fleckvieh is a high yielding, dual-purpose cow that can be used for both dairy and beef production. Kenyan farmers who have discovered the qualities of this breed have introduced them into their herds. So far, more than 20,000 farmers in Kenya have adopted the breed. This article was copied form Organic farmers magazine and was written in 2015.
Years of selective breeding
Fleckvieh (or Milking Simmental) is the second largest dairy breed in the world – and one of Europe’s oldest. At the moment, there are an estimated 42 million cattle with Fleckvieh bloodlines worldwide. Developed in the highlands of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the breed became popular in most parts of the world because of their adaptability to harsh climatic conditions.
Through many years of selective breeding, Fleckvieh has acquired some of the characteristics that dairy farmers are looking for. The Fleckvieh breed was introduced by Fleckvieh Genetics East Africa (FGEA) from South Africa in 2009. It was introduced with the use of genetics from Bayern genetic in the year 2000 into the North American market with this dual purpose character. It is marketed through Better dairy cow (www.betterdairycow.com) and Big Bear Genetics (www.bigbeargenetics.com);
In Kenya, the company gets most of its semen from top bulls in upper Bavarian region in Germany. Other sources of the Fleckvieh genetics are Austria, Czech republic, Australia. Farmers can buy semen from these top bulls from the company and cross with their dairy cows. This is the cheapest and easiest way to reduce the cost of buying pure Fleckvieh breed for small-scale farmers. Fleckvieh semen goes for between KSh 800 to KSh 400 depending on the sire (bull) a farmer chooses.
Active genetic potential
“The Fleckvieh cow is durable, hardy and easy to handle even within a small farm,” says Dr. Anthony Gichohi from Fleckvieh Genetics (EA). “They are able to move easily even in the most difficult terrain. A mature Fleckvieh has good strength and body development. A mature cow weighs about 650-800 kilograms.
The breed has a very large and active genetic potential. We believe it is going to be one of the major breeds in the country once farmers discover its quality,” he says. Already, Fleckvieh is attracting a lot of attention and farmers want to try it.
Nutritious milk and good meat
Studies show that every 1 kg of milk from a Fleckvieh cow contains 4.2% fat and 3.7% protein. In addition, the milk is rich in other micronutrients and Omega 3 fats, which are vital for a healthy body. According to Dr. Wanjohi, Fleckvieh bulls are fast growing and gain muscle at a rate of 1.5 kilogrammes per day for the first 200 days when cross-bred with other breeds, the farmer is assured of high quality of milk and beef. Under intensive fattening conditions, young bulls reach a daily weight gain of more than 1300 grams. In the first 6 months after birth, a bull can attain up to 300 kg with proper feeding and management. These growth rates and milk components have also been observed in the North American continent.
Compared with other breeds, Fleckvieh owners will not have to incur huge veterinary bills – due to the breed’s ability to withstand some of the common livestock diseases, mastitis for instance – This is an inflammation of the udder that cuts down milk production. The infection is caused by somatic cells (dead cells) from the bloodstreams that get into the milk in the udder. Fleckvieh cow milk has lower numbers of somatic cells compared to other dairy breeds, meaning that Fleckvieh is less prone to mastitis; there is another advantage: Less somatic cells means: The milk lasts longer without refrigeration.
And, since Fleckvieh has a very thick skin, it is more resistant against diseases transmitted by ticks and tsetse flies- the proboscis of these vectors cannot penetrate the thick Fleckvieh skin.
This feature of vector borne disease can be noted with conditions like Anaplasmosis or Bleutongue in North America although this is not supported with research data.
An easy to handle cow
Farmers are usually more interested in the amount of milk a cow can produce. But what goes for Holstein-Fresian and other breeds, can as well be said of Fleckvieh: The amount of milk a cow produces depends directly on the feed it is given and the way it is kept. With sufficient and nutritious feed, a healthy cow can produce a lot of milk; if the feed is poor, the milk yield will be less. Farmers sometimes forget the relationship between the feed given and the milk output.
What makes Fleckvieh different from other breeds (Holstein Friesian, Ayrshire etc)? Fleckvieh cattle are economically productive: The breed has a more efficient feed conversion rate compared to other dairy cattle. Studies show that the breed can give more milk with the same amount of feed that is given to other breeds. For example, if a Friesian-Holstein dairy cow is given 60 kg of feed, the amount of milk it will produce is equal to what a Fleckvieh cow will produce with only 45 kg of same type of feed. With good management, Fleckvieh dairy cows have been proved to produce between 25-30 litres of milk per day. On second calving, it produces 30-35 litres, increasing this to between 30-40 litres after the third calving. The breed has a consistent milk production throughout the lactation period – this a big plus compared to other breeds. It produces milk steadily for 305 days a year without any decline. The breed has been known to produce up to 10,000 litres of milk in every lactation (milking period) with good management.
For more information on how to start using Fleckvieh genetics, feel free to contact www.betterdairycow.com