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The Moo News

Newsletter of Penn Dutch Cow Care                                               November 2000

Last month I didn’t have time to write and instead sent along some information that came my way. Wow what a mistake. I received some calls questioning the information. Let me say here that the main point was to simply show that feeding bad milk to calves can injure their health. Yes, Johne’s disease, Salmonella, Coliform and Staph milk is bad for calves to consume. That was the point. That’s all.

Anyhow…I wanted to share some things I learned at the meeting I attended in Connecticut. And since I don’t see all of you every month, this is the best way. First, there are some very promising botanical medicines from the Peruvian part of the Amazon rainforest that are becoming commercially available. One, Sangre de Grado, has been shown to reduce skin inflammation, stinging and pain. It is an ointment and perhaps could be used on hot and hard quarters. Another, Una de Gato, has been shown to decrease intestinal inflammation, especially in chickens suffering from coccidia. Another is called Maca, and it has been shown to increase conception and live births in females. In pigs, Echinacea, fed at 3% of the ration, was shown to enhance overall gain in the week 0-5 nursery period. All these findings were scientifically proven and statistically significant (not just testimonials). I would like to try to adapt these findings to dairy cows if you will let me.

Speaking of alternative treatments, some of you have allowed me to practice “needling” your cows with acupuncture needles and electrical stimulation or vitamin B12 injections. The results are becoming very encouraging, especially with various musculo-skeletal problems, cystic ovaries and slow rumen activity.

In another area, I have ordered an herbal based medicine from China that I plan to try as an infusion on certain mastitis cows. I have read the clinical trials and am hoping that the results will be as good here locally. Some U.S. vets in the mid-west have already tried it on some tough mastitis cases with success.

I am very grateful that you let me try out new non-antibiotic and non-hormonal techniques on your cows. But remember, depending on the severity of the illness, standard medical options still may be preferable for the well-being of your cow. It’s really a case by case call on both your and my part.


Practical tip: Feed 2oz. vinegar twice daily for 2 weeks before freshening to your dry cows. Either directly in mouth or on silage. This is the natural equivalent to anionic salts and is cheap. I’ve had farmers tell me this has reduced milk fevers to almost zero.


Note: Using an acupuncture point, Becky and I can vaccinate roughly 40 cows in 12-15 minutes. If you’ve wanted to vaccinate and never find the time, we can do it for you. This method does not give any abscesses and milk drop has not been reported.

For Bovinity Health, information on functional alternatives to antibiotics see:

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