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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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Some say the secret to success lies within, and Dr. Brandon Debbink would agree that statement rings true when it comes to pre-weaned heifer calves.

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When are heifers “all grown up?” Not really until at least the end of their first lactation. And cows are not considered mature until around their third lactation. Look at the data in Table 1 from a herd database.

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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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