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Five tips to manage calves in winter weather PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Devin Hyde   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 12:36

Cold stress in calves occurs when temperatures fall below 60 degrees for calves under 21 days of age and 42 degrees for calves over 21 days of age. As temperatures begin to dip below these levels, the following five tips can assist in managing calves:

 
Three tips to properly mix calf milk replacer PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Tom Earleywine   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:14

When it comes to feeding calf milk replacer — consistency is important. Employees in charge of feeding calves have a very important job.

Not only is the nutrition that calves receive very important, but so is proper mixing. Proper mixing and feeding calves work hand-in hand to ensure that calves receive the right nutrition to keep them healthy and growing.

Three keys to success that calf feeders should evaluate and follow when mixing and feeding calf milk replacer are:

 
Four things to know about electrolytes PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Tom Earleywine   
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 17:46

Four things to know about electrolytes
By Tom Earleywine
In warm weather calves need special attention to combat the effects heat has. When temperatures rise above 78 degrees F, calves begin to sweat and respiration rates increase.
Consequences of increased respiration rates and sweating are rapid dehydration, reduced feed intake, a weaker immune system and the internal body temperature of the calf rises – which is never good.
Calves, like humans, are made up mostly of water. Because of this, calves can experience an increased risk of death once dehydration sets in. A feeding program that includes electrolytes can be a health saving measure for calves. It is important to know what electrolytes are and when to feed them.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are used to replace lost fluids, restore the calf’s acid-base balance, and provide nutrients and energy to the calf. Not only can electrolytes address dehydration caused by extreme temperatures, but they can also be a useful tool to alleviate dehydration that might occur during weaning, moving and other stress factors.
When should I feed electrolytes?
Electrolytes should be fed when signs of dehydration are observed in calves. They can also be fed as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of dehydration occurring.
How do I know if a calf is dehydrated?
To evaluate a calf’s level of dehydration, check for eyeball recession. The amount of space between the eyeball and the eye socket is a good indicator of dehydration level. You can also evaluate dehydration by skin tenting. Pick up their skin over the shoulder and observe the time it takes to return to normal.
A properly hydrated calf’s skin will return to normal right away (less than two seconds), while a dehydrated calf’s skin will remain tented or sticking up for a short period. If skin takes two to six seconds to flatten, the calf is about 8 percent dehydrated. More than six seconds indicates severe dehydration above 10 percent.
Other dehydration symptoms to look for include depression, sunken in eyes, cold limbs, white and dry gums, and lack of ability to stand or drink.
How do I feed electrolytes?
Feed electrolytes during every other water feeding or offer electrolytes free choice along with water to calves. Never add electrolyte powder to milk, always mix in water since the water is every bit as important as the compounds found in the electrolyte powder.
Feeding electrolytes has many benefits, but those benefits only complement a calf feeding program. In addition to electrolytes, a proper feeding program should consist of water, colostrum, milk replacer and a calf starter/grower. Providing calves with an adequate plane of nutrition will allow them to better fight disease challenges and to store body reserves and use them if they are stressed due to heat or for other reasons.  EL
References omitted due to space, but are available upon request at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tom Earleywine (mug available)
Director of Nutritional Services
Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Products
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.lolmilkreplacer.com
Photo caption:
Calves are made up mostly of water. Because of this, calves can experience an increased risk of death once dehydration sets in. A feeding program that includes electrolytes can be a health saving measure for calves. Photos courtesy of Land O’ Lakes Animal Milk Products.

070813_earleywine_1In warm weather calves need special attention to combat the effects heat has. When temperatures rise above 78 degrees F, calves begin to sweat and respiration rates increase. 

Consequences of increased respiration rates and sweating are rapid dehydration, reduced feed intake, a weaker immune system and the internal body temperature of the calf rises – which is never good.Calves, like humans, are made up mostly of water. Because of this, calves can experience an increased risk of death once dehydration sets in.

 
Tips for feeding calf starter PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Katie Mason   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 11:06

0213el_mason_1Each stage of a calf’s nutritional program is important to ensuring a healthy and profitable calf crop.

A sound and well-managed feeding program is critical after birth to allow a good foundation for calves.

In addition to water, colostrum and milk replacer, a calf starter should be fed after birth.

 
Six steps to control flies PDF Print E-mail
El Lechero Dairy Basics - Calf and Heifer Raising
Written by Gary Geisler   
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 11:53

040213_geisler_flycontrolWarm weather is just around the corner, and with that warm weather comes flies.

Calf hutches and pens are a perfect breeding ground for flies because of bedding, manure, spilled milk and feed.

Not only are flies a nuisance to both animals and employees, they impact the health and well-being of the animals and cause economic losses.

 
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