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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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Extensive calf rumen development studies were done in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s at Iowa State University, at Cornell University and at the United Kingdom National Institute for Research in Dairying. R. G. Warner in 1991 addressed rumen development in calves from a historical perspective. Key conclusions were:

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Being a part of the dairy industry is a fulfilling and rewarding privilege, but it can also be an unpredictable journey. Milk prices are constantly fluctuating, and it can make budget evaluation difficult.

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There are several systems on a dairy that need to operate in concert with one another for the entire dairy operation to be efficient. Every day, dairy producers have to manage feeding, milking, health, manure and other aspects.

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Since calves are the animals most vulnerable and sensitive to change on a dairy, transitions are critical for calves. Just because they are weaned does not mean calves are now home free without issues. In fact, the month after weaning is really a transition period for calves.

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Replacement heifers are critical to the longevity and sustainability of dairy operations. Special attention should be paid to raising calves, as many aspects influence lifelong health and future productivity, including maternal factors during gestation, colostrum management, nutrition, vaccination program, housing and environmental conditions.

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Is it okay for the grain bucket to be empty? Before I answer that question, let us go over the importance of starter intake for pre-weaned calves.

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