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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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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” I feel that way every day in my role as Northeast territory manager with Calf-Tel. Dairy farming and raising calves are life-long passions, and I’m fortunate to find that same passion in my job.

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Don’t let their small size fool you; transporting dairy calves is tricky. If the process doesn’t go well, you can run into a plethora of problems, including bovine respiratory disease (BRD). BRD pathogens are found on virtually every farm at some level.

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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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