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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

Every dairy farm is different. But when it comes to calf programs, there may be more similarities than what might be expected. At the 2018 Leading Dairy Producers Conference, hosted by Purina Animal Nutrition, three dairy farmers shared what makes their individual calf programs successful.

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Scours is the primary cause of calf death before weaning. It can be a devastating disease infecting many animals, resulting in expensive treatments and negatively impacting the animal’s long-term health and performance.

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Consistency is a foremost principle for success in raising calves. Unfortunately, calf producers who use a Brix refractometer in an effort to maintain consistent milk replacer concentration are wasting their time.

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Observing dairy calf behavior is a critical skill in the early detection of disease. Dr. Sheila McGuirk from the University of Wisconsin published an excellent health scoring publication guide (Calf Health Scoring Guide) used by many calf raisers, veterinarians and researchers to aid in disease detection.

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Current regulations, which went into effect in January 2017, require a prescription to feed calves certain antibiotics in milk replacer. Prior to the change in regulations, some calf growers fed certain antibiotics in milk replacer for the entire pre-weaning period.

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A fast time is crucial to winning a race. Newborn calf care is a lot like a race: The faster you get quality colostrum in calves, the sooner they’ll start to build immunity through antibodies known as immunoglobulins.

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