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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

Calf health as reflected in morbidity and mortality is a consistent and major issue facing the dairy farmer. Data from the USDA-NAHMS studies clearly show that dairy calf mortality remains above 8 percent year after year, representing a significant economic impact on the dairy farm economy. In addition, morbidity remains high, which adds to the economic burden through added labor and health supply costs. More than 50 percent of this morbidity is related to neonatal scours.

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In today’s milk price environment, everyone is looking for ways to improve efficiency and reduce expenses.

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With dairies becoming larger and specializing in milk production, many dairies continue to send calves to custom operations that specialize in raising heifers.

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A calf is born with great genetic potential for a lifetime of milk production. But there are many factors that can limit her longevity in the herd and economic return. Controlling these factors through a well-managed calf and heifer program will help assure maximum lifetime productivity.

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The transition from the dry period to the lactating period is difficult for all cows. These changes are especially traumatic for heifers that are not only undergoing the physiological changes associated with calving and the onset of lactating, but adapting to a new housing environment and the novelty of the milking routine. Furthermore, these heifers are forced to adjust to an increased amount of contact with the farm staff.

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