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Calves & Heifers

The future of your herd depends on quality colostrum, milk or replacer feeding and disease control along with proper bedding, sanitation and ventilation.

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Raising healthy calves is crucial to the success of a dairy operation, as heifers are the future of the milking herd. There are several important aspects related to pre-weaned calf management, including maternity pen management, colostrum management, nutrition and housing.

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It is now common to find butyrate in commercial milk replacers and solid feeds for calves. However, the impact it has on the calf varies depending on the delivery method and the source of dietary butyrate being used. Let’s have a closer look at why butyrate is a valuable feed additive, how it can be supplemented and how its use in feeds affects calf performance.

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1. Describe your farm.

PETERS: My parents, Jeff and Janet Peters, brother (Cole) and I own and operate a dairy farm in northwestern Pennsylvania called Spruce Row Farm.

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Research continues to show feeding more nutrition can help calves reach their full potential. And, while the dairy industry has moved away from the old standard of feeding calves 2 quarts of milk or milk replacer twice a day, misconceptions remain. Below are six common calf nutrition myths:

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As dairy farms grow in size, the needs for youngstock change as well. What used to work may no longer fit, or a brand-new solution may not be the ideal solution after all. Three different dairy producers each had their own way of troubleshooting calf housing on growing dairy farms.

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Spring and fall weather conditions often present calf raisers with the challenge of fluctuating temperatures. The rapid and ongoing transition from warm days to cold nights creates a temperature roller coaster that can increase calfhood respiratory disease rates.

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