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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.

LATEST

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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In just a few months, the use of medically important feed-grade antibiotics on your dairy will require veterinarian authorization. When the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) takes effect on Jan. 1, 2017, the classification of these medications will change from over-the-counter status to VFD designation.

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Feeding calves is much more than what is in the pail or bottle. The way milk, water and starter are delivered can play just as big of a role in the health and performance of the calf.

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The virtues of colostrum in successful calf raising cannot be overemphasized. This “liquid gold” not only delivers critical immune protection but also provides specialized nutrients, energy, fluid and warmth to newborn calves.

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