Cold an extra challenge as Kegley Farms adopts new Lely robotic milking system

CM-MR-3-Cold 2by Karl H. Kazaks

PULASKI, VA — “We knew it was going to be a transition,” said Bill Kegley. “The cold weather has made it that much more of a challenge.”

On Oct. 22, Kegley Farms opened a new milking barn with four Lely Astronaut milkers. Since then, the farm — like much of eastern part of the nation — has experienced a number of unusually cold days, with air temperatures dropping on several occasions to below zero. [Read more…]

NCDA&CS offers information hotline for farmers affected by winter storm

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has activated its toll-free hotline to help farmers affected by the winter storm to connect with resources that can assist with recovery.

Farmers who have an agricultural emergency can call 1-866-506-6222. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day through Friday, Feb. 14. Operating hours will be re-evaluated at that time.

“This storm is bringing a potentially nasty mix of snow and ice,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Possible impacts to farms include power outages, damage to agricultural buildings and animal health emergencies. We are prepared to work with our state and local partners to help our agricultural community in the storm’s aftermath.”

Buying and transporting, Daryl Bowman serves cattlemen throughout the Mid-Atlantic

CM-MR-3-Buying 3by Karl H. Kazaks

WOODSTOCK, VA — Hauling. Buying. Selling. Backgrounding. In a nutshell, that’s what Daryl Bowman does. He operates two businesses, Daryl Bowman Livestock (his transport and brokering business) and Blessed Acres (his farm). But the larger picture is more complicated. What Bowman does involves managing five trucks, scheduling the transport of cattle to destinations as far as Illinois and Kansas, attending several sales per week, and running his 300-acre farm. [Read more…]

Animal cruelty and investigation

CM-MR-2-ANIMAL CRUELTY1by Steve Wagner

When encountering the world of animal cruelty, one can be easily overcome by the staggering number of ways used to inflict animal cruelty. Comfort may be taken in the fact that there were people back in the American Civil War who exacted retribution for such actions. A prime example was General Ulysses Grant who, when he saw a man flogging a horse, had the man stopped, stripped of his shirt and tied to a post where he took the horse whip and ordered the man flogged without mercy. Hopefully the man learned his lesson and did not repeat the offense. Countless laws and protective regulations would prohibit Grant’s action today. Animal cruelty continues on a widespread basis at the hands of the thoughtless, the impulsive, and even those who engage in such activity subversively as sport and gambling. [Read more…]

Cold weather management for animals

CEWM-MR-1-Cold weather animalsBy George Looby, DVM

Global warming aside, the winter of 2013-2014 is shaping up to go on record as one of the harshest in decades and all domestic creatures exposed to its rigors need help in making adjustments to survive the elements. Animal owners are generally well tuned to the precautions necessary to help insure that their pets and livestock are comfortable during the heat waves of summer but are perhaps less concerned during the winter months.