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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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Feeding practices affect the performance of the dairy heifer and the time necessary for the animal to be bred and to attain an optimal size, age and mammary development. It is extremely important that dairy producers realize the impact feeding practices and type of diet will have on the replacement animals, which are usually fed low-quality ingredients in order to reduce rearing costs.

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On average, only 36 percent of calf raisers in the U.S. weigh calves to determine rate of gain. Since rate of gain can provide valuable insight into how well your calf program is working, many dairy producers and calf raisers are missing a valuable opportunity.

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Milk replacers come in a variety of formulations from a variety of manufacturers. With so many different products available, it’s important to know what’s really in the bag.

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Dr. Ryan Leiterman, director of technical services, Crystal Creek Natural LLC, veterinarian and agricultural engineer specializing in calf barn ventilation and on-farm troubleshooting, facilitated the calf feeding panel discussion held during the Indiana Dairy Producers Forum (Feb. 1-2, French Link, Indiana).

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Calf nutrition programs come in all shapes and sizes, and every calf raiser has unique goals. The best calf nutrition program is one that delivers the best results to meet your specific goals. 

“We understand that calf raisers’ goals are not all the same. Regardless of your goals, it’s important to provide calves with the right nutrition at the right time, every time,” says Sara Sievert, director of commercial business development at Milk Products, manufacturer of Calf Solutions® products. “Calves can face a variety of unique challenges. Look to a flexible line of calf nutrition and health products to help your calves feel and perform their best while also meeting your business needs.”

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When Amy Shiplett joined her family’s operation full time in 2006, she struggled to find detailed information on raising calves and heifers from local resources, but through an online search, she stumbled across an organization that fulfilled her needs.

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