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Learning labs get calf care managers involved

PD Editor Karen Lee Published on 21 October 2010

This article was featured as one of our most popular calf and heifer raising articles. to jump to the article below.

Why is this 2010 article about the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin's Calf Care Connection workshops trending as a popular article?



We think it's because of the wet lab videos featured in it. Penn State's Dr. Jud Heinrichs presented examples of rumens from calves fed with different diets, each displaying different characteristics. Dr. Simon Peek of the University of Wisconsin – Madison shared tips and proper placement of pull chains for calving assistance. Each of these videos have received more than 1,000 views.

Because this article was so popular, we wanted to direct your attention to another popular wet lab video:

Dr. Jud Heinrichs

Two one-day Calf Care Connection workshops were held in Wisconsin last week. The first drew 80 participants to the technical college in Chilton, while the second hosted 47 people at a hotel in Eau Claire. Each day featured the same speakers and learning labs. It was offered by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW).

(Be sure to view the at the bottom of this article to hear Dr. Jud Heinrichs discussing rumen development and Dr. Simon Peek share tips for proper calving. )


Dr. Sandra Godden, University of Minnesota , led the opening general session. She addressed “Colostrum Management: What’s New, What’s Fact and What’s Working.” In reviewing the five Qs of colostrum management, Godden shared what can be done about Quality, Quantity, Quickness, sQueaky clean and Quantifying passive transfer to ensure calves are off to the right start.

 Calf's rumen

In the “Rumen Development Wet Lab” led by Dr. Jud Heinrichs, Pennsylvania State University , it became very obvious the impact feeding grain early can have on a calf’s rumen development. Participants could touch and see the rumens from calves fed just milk, milk and hay, and milk and grain. While the calf on the grain diet decided not to eat much grain, it still had better growth of rumen papillae than the other two.

Dr. Simon Peek from the University of Wisconsin – Madison shared calving and calf care tips in “Obstetric: Deliver More Live Results.” He talked about monitoring pre-fresh cows and heifers, when is the best time to move them and when to assist with delivery. With the use of a calf’s body, he showed the proper way to arrange a calf if needed in utero and how to link pull chains without harming the calf.

Lastly, good practices were reviewed by Dr. Jim Reynolds, University of California , at “Dairy Animal Well Being: Focusing on the Dairy Calf.” Reynolds shared the science behind welfare policies and introduced the National Dairy FARM program to those who hadn’t heard of it before. He predicted that almost every dairy in the U.S. will undergo an on-farm welfare evaluation in the next 18 months. PD

TOP: Dr. Jud Heinrichs, right, shows participants in Chilton the muscling of the esophaegeal groove in a 6-week old calf's rumen.


BOTTOM: The rumen papillae are evident in this calf's rumen. The growth is accomplished by grain feeding to promote butyric and proprionic acid production.

Karen Lee
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