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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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From operation to operation, dairy farmers across the nation perform the same duties to ensure their cows are adequately cared for. However, the methods for how those duties are performed may differ from farmer to farmer. The best way to learn alternative methods is through other dairy peers.

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Salmonella is a potential concern on many dairy operations. It’s important for all dairy producers to understand and manage this devastating disease – not only to protect herd health, but also to prevent potential impact on food safety for consumers.

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A Progressive Dairy reader recently asked: “Would vaccinating cows at dry-off for clostridium give passive immunity to calves to help them for the first week or so until they are vaccinated?” The simple answer is: “Yes.”

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Dehydration in calves experiencing scours is often underestimated. A scouring calf can lose anywhere between 5% to 10% of its bodyweight in water within one day.

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We have gained tremendous momentum in dairy calf nutrition research, with publications tripling over the last 20 years. And rightfully so, since dairy calves are the future of the milking herd, and how they are fed and managed during early life influences their future reproductive efficiency, capacity for milk production and health.

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Healthy calves and a successful group of youngstock teammates (employees) can set the tone for morale across the entire dairy. When the calves are happy, the owners are happy. Happy, healthy calves tend to transition into healthy springers and then into productive lactating cows.

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