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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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Thinking of feeding pasteurized waste milk to your calves? It can be an excellent choice, both nutritionally and economically. But on its own, pasteurized waste milk does not deliver the complete package necessary to feed all the calves in your herd to their greatest potential.

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Feeding water to nursery calves can often cause frustration for producers. Water intake by nursery calves is dynamic and has a degree of variability, making it a little difficult to judge how much water they will drink.

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There are no shortcuts when it comes to raising healthy dairy heifer calves. Strict hygiene of facilities and personnel is a must, as are:

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Editor’s note: This article is part one in a three-part series on evaluating your hygiene protocols. Visit 5 steps to perfect cleanliness to read part two and Are your calves secure? 7 ways to make it so to read part three.

In this time of lower milk prices, every penny counts, and many producers have “hunkered down” and decided not to make any large investments this year.

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Heifers raised on pasture not only cost you less to raise, they are also healthier and give more milk, according to Jennifer Blazek, a dairy and livestock educator with the University of Wisconsin, and Adam Abel, an NRCS soil conservationist.

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Maintaining a healthy dairy herd starts with care and attention to calves. Not only do mechanical brushes help keep cows comfortable, they keep calves comfortable as well.

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