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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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When feeding whole milk or milk replacer to calves, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for dairy producers. The choice of which one to feed often comes down to each farm’s whole milk availability, its costs, the current milk price and the farm’s management capabilities. Whether you’re feeding whole milk, milk replacer or a combination of the two, here are three things to consider.

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Your total cost to raise calves is an important metric, but it's especially important when profit margins are tight. Total feed costs or feed cost per pound of gain are common metrics; however, those figures may be misleading because they don't include the full picture.

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Six percent of Holstein bull calves in the U.S. never make it to the feedlot. That’s because their path is diverted to become veal.

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Not all Holstein bull calves become steers. A tiny sliver (6%) contribute to a specialty meat sector that so quietly complements the dairy industry, some of us forget it’s there.

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Establishing a healthy gut microbiome from the beginning of a calf’s life can have a lasting impact on her success. A properly developed gut can help improve lifetime feed efficiency and support overall calf health. You see, the gut is the first line of defense for a calf’s immune system, which can protect her from scours, pneumonia and other health challenges.

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Pair housing (or small groups of up to four calves) for pre-weaned calves is increasing in popularity due to the myriad of benefits for calf welfare compared to individual housing. Converting to pair housing is also appealing as a steppingstone to group housing, because the management transition is simpler compared to management of a large group of calves.

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