Dairy Production Medicine, Dairy farming is an important component of agriculture worldwide because of the value of milk to human nutrition. Dairy production medicine integrates specialties of veterinary medicine and animal science into a dairy production system designed to produce milk in a proﬁtable manner.
Dairy Production Medicine
However, the production of milk at the farm level is under constant economical, societal, and environmental challenges which places constraints for dairy farmers to meet the demands of an increasing world population for a wholesome and economical supply of milk. Consequently, dairy farmers must continuously modify and adapt management of their milk production system to meet these challenges by relying on specialists to provide them with management guidelines.
The approach to the design, implementation, and management of this system is multidisciplinary and includes clinical medicine, economics, epidemiology, food safety, genetics, human resource management, nutrition, preventive medicine, and reproduction. These specialties must work in concert to harmonize management of the individual dairy farm in order to obtain a proﬁt without neglecting animal welfare and food safety.
Our premise for this book is the recognition that a book that integrates the above – mentioned specialties within the context of production medicine is lacking for dairy cattle. This book covers production medicine in relation to the production cycle of the dairy cow and replacement heifer. Within this context, components of the production cycle include the non lactating, post partum, and breeding periods. For each component, appropriate management for a successful outcome is addressed.
During the last 30 years, the role of veterinarians working with dairy cattle has changed from an emphasis on clinical medicine to consulting, evaluation of herd performance, and employee training. Therefore, our goal for this book is to provide students, veterinarians, and dairy specialists with a reference for dairy production medicine that can be used to provide dairy herd management services. In doing so, we recognize that a dairy herd is composed of individual animals that must be housed in a comfortable environment, fed to meet their nutrient requirements according to their stage of production, and provided with prompt treatment of disease. If at the individual animal level these requirements are met, the overall animal well – being of the herd improves commensurate with societal expectations for the care of food – producing animals.
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