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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

Raising dairy heifers off-site increases the possibility of disease introduction, especially if animals are reared in a facility where they commingle with cattle from other dairies.

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When discussing calf barn ventilation, invariably the topic of using four air exchanges per hour for cold-weather ventilation will come up. After all, we wouldn’t want “too much” of that cold air in the barn. Or would we?

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Protecting the investment in your heifer herd has never been more important. We tend to put a lot of emphasis on genetic progress with our breeding programs, but we fail to partner that with a quality heifer management program to allow our heifers to express their full genetic potential.

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While bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) persistently infected (PI) calves may look normal on the outside, they are comparable to a Trojan horse in your dairy herd. This is due to the level of virus each calf continues to shed throughout their lifetime.

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“We have way too many calves with acidosis.”

“Rumen pHs are low, must be acidosis.”

“I need to switch calf starters; this one is causing acidosis.”

Have any of these thoughts crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. But, you might be missing the real question – do your calves actually have acidosis?

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Winter always seems to sneak up on us before we know it. The amount of daylight gets shorter and shorter and the temperature gets colder and colder. We have a million things on our mind and prepping the calf facility might have fallen to the bottom of the to-do list.

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