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Respecting our animals through our...
Best Management Practices
  • Animal Health
  • Animal Comfort
  • Animal Nutrition

The health of our herd is one of the most important things we focus on everyday at Larson Acres. In addition to having expert herdsmen on staff, we have gone to great lengths to put measures in place that monitor the health of our herd and quickly address any issues that may arise.

Our Computerized Monitoring System
At Larson Acres, we have a computerized system designed to carefully monitor and track the health of each animal in our herd. Each cow has its own identification number and an electronic ID. The data for each individual cow downloads into our computerized monitoring system, which allows us to keep track of production levels, milk weights, cows that are expecting to be in heat and the waiting period for pregnancy, so we know what to expect and how to react.

When they walk into the milking parlor we know who’s there, which pen they are in, what time they were milked and how much milk they produced because of this monitoring system. We are also able to match the nutrient level in their diets to their milk through our computerized system.

Special-Needs Areas
Special-needs areas, including maternity and postpartum, are on site and staffed 24 hours a day, every day for our animals. Each animal gets screened every day and monitored for abnormalities and if any are found, the cow gets cared for in the special-needs areas.
Taking care of our cows during their time of need
Many cows have special needs, and the special-needs areas are specifically designed for the high-risk times in our cows’ lives. Fresh cows, cows ready to calve, cows currently calving and cows with health concerns are cared for in these dedicated areas.
Professional Consultants
We work closely with outside consultants, such as nutritionists, veterinarians and agronomists to promote the best possible health of our herd. Nutritionists ensure our herd receives customized, mixed rations formulated to meet their specific needs, and our on-site veterinarian works with local veterinarians, who make weekly visits to the dairy. Our milk quality veterinarian monitors the parlor and udder health, our hands-on veterinarian regularly uses computer monitoring, and the UW veterinary school comes on a regular basis so we can show them how we use our systems.

Our animals spend their time in areas where their comfort and ease of handling are top priorities. To prevent discomfort, the entire adult herd is housed in covered free stall barns with sand bedding, which make it possible for us to provide our animals with plenty of shade, fresh air, water and protection from extreme weather conditions.

The free stall barns provide the temperature, comfort and surroundings our animals need and enjoy, and ample room for our cows to freely move around. During the sweltering heat of a Wisconsin summer, it’s important that our free stall barns are equipped with cooling components, time-controlled soakers and optimal air flow techniques to keep the herd cool and comfortable.

Our cows lie comfortably in sand bedding, which provides a cooler environment and promotes cow health, including protection from developing mastitis. The sand bedding, which is cleaned and recycled on a regular basis, encourages the herd to lie down. This is when they are most comfortable, and it’s best for the cows if they lie down at least 12 hours a day.
The benefits of free stall barns
Cow comfort is job 1 at Larson Acres. We believe our free stall barns help increase cow comfort for all of our animals. Mike Larson helps explain even further the benefits of our free stall barns.
Creating a comfortable, controlled environment for our cows

It is best if our cows lie down at least 12 hours a day. In order for this to happen, they need a comfortable, controlled environment. David Rhoda, D.V.M, explains the techniques we employ at Larson Acres to help keep our cows comfortable.

 

Keeping our cows healthy is our top priority. Quality housing, constant health monitoring and proper nutrition ensure the long term health of our cows.

The herd is fed a customized mix ration, formulated with help from a nutritionist to meet each cow's specific needs.

We get custom-designed supplements for each of the cow groups to balance the ration with home-grown feed and select ingredients delivered weekly by Landmark Services Cooperative. It's important to track the phosphorous levels in the diet, and we take a proactive stance in the nutrition of our herd.

At Larson Acres, animal nutrition is a priority, but so is protecting the environment. That is why we go the extra mile to ensure that the diet our herd receives is low in phosphorous.