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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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“We need to make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.” This quote, which is often attributed to Albert Einstein, accurately sums up our quest to deliver optimal nutrition to pre-weaned calves.

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In our previous article, “Precision nutrition for calves: Moving beyond crude protein concentration in milk replacer,” we presented substantial evidence for utilizing synthetic amino acids to better supply building blocks for growth and reduce costs associated with overfeeding protein.

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Weight gain. Two words that strike fear in humans – unless they’re talking about calves. It’s well documented a healthy calf should, at a minimum, double their birthweight before weaning, but the scale doesn’t tell the whole story and, sometimes, it can be misleading.

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For T&K Red River Dairy in Stanfield, Arizona, raising calves comes with its fair share of challenges. To help mitigate this, farm co-owner Tim Dugan chooses to focus on minimizing stress and maximizing nutrition to raise healthy, productive replacement heifers for the 13,000-cow dairy he owns and manages with his father, Tom Dugan Sr., and brothers, Tom Dugan Jr. and Tony Dugan.

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When it’s 105ºF outside, it’s 105ºF in the hutch – that’s the reality of raising calves in Arizona according to Tim Dugan, co-owner of T&K Red River Dairy in Stanfield, Arizona.

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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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