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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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Editor’s note: This article is part three in a three-part series on evaluating your hygiene protocols. Visit Are you saving money with hygiene? to read part 1 and 5 steps to perfect cleanliness to read part 2.

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Holsteins, Jerseys and Milking Shorthorns? When Don Crawley came back to Crawley’s Valley View Farms after World War II, the farm had mostly Jerseys, which were great as milk cows. However, he wanted a milk cow where the bull calf and cull cow were worth more, so he became interested in Milking Shorthorns.

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You continually measure and review the performance of your lactating cow herd, but are you doing the same for your calves and heifers?

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The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) released the updated version of the association’s Gold Standards for raising quality heifers on the first day of World Dairy Expo 2016. Dr. Bob James, DCHA academia-at-large director, says he’s excited about the new standards and feels this version is much more science-based than the original standards, which were released in 2009.

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Molasses is a common ingredient in texturized calf starters. It is added for palatability and reduction of dust. Unfortunately, molasses brings some challenges to the manufacturing process because of its viscosity and at the farm because it attracts flies and increases the possibility for mold growth on starter.

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How much impact does heifer stocking density have on their conditioning?

Many herd managers seek to prevent freshening heifers from being overconditioned by dietary dilution with low-energy forages.

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