Poultry raising basics

CM-MR-1-Starting poultry copyby Katie Navarra

Poultry are relatively easy to raise and do well with basic food, water and shelter.

While it’s fairly simple to raise poultry it is important to be prepared, plan ahead and do some research prior to bringing chicks or older birds to your property.

First, you’ll have to decide if you’re raising a laying flock or a broiler flock or a combination of the two.
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HP Hood plants meet increased consumer demand for dairy products

CEW-MR-2-HOOD PLANT 1cby Pat Malin

ONEIDA, NY — When Ross Hasty proudly showed off the robotic machines that are used in the warehouse at the HP Hood milk processing plant in Oneida, he spoke of them fondly in a paternal manner.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Hasty, who has been the Hood operations manager for 30 years. The robotic palletizers were first introduced to the plant 18 years ago and now there are four second-generation machines that spend their days and nights effortlessly lifting heavy bulk cartons of milk and placing them neatly on pallets. Then they can be stacked up in the warehouse and later loaded into refrigerated trucks.
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Through a vet’s eyes: your parlor at milking time

C4-MR-2-Teatsby Bill and Mary Weaver

Extension veterinarians like Dr. Ernest Hovingh get to see a lot of milking parlors over the years, and come to expect certain problems crop up. Dr. Hovingh has seen ways milkers could, but often don’t, prevent parlor-acquired mastitis. Let’s look at this potentially costly problem. [Read more…]

A society of Dorpers

CEW-MR-3-Dorper2by Steve Wagner

Where have Dorpers been all our lives? And now that they’re here, what can we do with them?

“Dorpers are a breed of sheep that have been in this country for about 20 years,” according to Doug Gillespie, executive secretary for the American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society, “and they are growing by leaps and bounds.” Dorpers are meat sheep originally bred in South Africa. Their most familiar trait is a totally black head on an otherwise white body. The Dorper breed is a successful crossing of Dorset and Persian sheep, using the first three letters of each to coin the name. “You’re seeing a huge Dorper influence in the lamb industry in this country today,” Gillespie continued. “They are extremely fast maturing sheep and they are easy keepers. They don’t have to be sheared because they are what we call a shedding breed. They do grow some fuzz, but they shed it off as the weather warms up, which saves the cost of shearing.” Parenthetically, Gillespie notes that wool is so depressed in the American market that it hardly covers the cost of shearing. And shearers are hard to find. Gillespie also says Dorpers are the future of the sheep business. [Read more…]

Intelligent mastitis management, part two

C4-MR-1-MastitisCon2by Bill and Mary Weaver

A previous edition of Country Folks provided information from a seminar given by Dr. Ernest Hovingh at the Penn State Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference on the importance of recognizing the different pathogens that cause mastitis in dairy cows so the appropriate treatment can be implemented. A continuation of that list and insight on how to prevent mastitis can be found below. [Read more…]