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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

It’s true what they say: Hindsight is 20/20. But many post-project regrets can be avoided by drafting a plan up front. This statement is especially true when it comes to calf housing. Whether you’re starting new or making changes to an existing calf housing setup, a solid plan is critical to calf performance and labor efficiency for years to come.

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Ultrasonography is gaining momentum as a way to monitor lung health in young dairy cattle. An ultrasound exam takes less than a minute and helps us understand the presence and severity of underlying pneumonia.

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There are several causes of calf scours, but fluid replacement via electrolytes is a requirement for all scours treatments. By simply reversing the dehydration, the calf can be saved without antibiotics.

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What do heat stress, low-quality colostrum and lower-than-average daily gains during the pre-weaning period all have in common? Each of these can impact the expression of a dairy heifer’s genetic potential, translating into lifetime effects such as lower milk production, lower reproductive efficiency and decreased longevity.

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When calves become ill, more often than not, they are also dehydrated. Hydration is an important process to help cure the calf and get the animal back on track.

Veterinarian Matt Boyle, Zoetis Dairy Technical Services, provided some tips on how to hydrate calves at the Vita Plus Chick Day in August 2012. At the time, Boyle was a veterinarian at Freeport Veterinary Service in Freeport, Minnesota.

First of all, treatment should depend on the condition of the calf. Click here to download a table to aid in assessment.

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Often overlooked, water is the most important nutrient for dairy calves. It is required for all of life’s processes including the transport, digestion and metabolism of nutrients, the elimination of waste materials and excess heat from the body, and the maintenance of a proper fluid-ion balance in the body.

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