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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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Dr. Ryan Leiterman, director of technical services, Crystal Creek Natural LLC, veterinarian and agricultural engineer specializing in calf barn ventilation and on-farm troubleshooting, facilitated the calf feeding panel discussion held during the Indiana Dairy Producers Forum (Feb. 1-2, French Link, Indiana).

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Calf nutrition programs come in all shapes and sizes, and every calf raiser has unique goals. The best calf nutrition program is one that delivers the best results to meet your specific goals. 

“We understand that calf raisers’ goals are not all the same. Regardless of your goals, it’s important to provide calves with the right nutrition at the right time, every time,” says Sara Sievert, director of commercial business development at Milk Products, manufacturer of Calf Solutions® products. “Calves can face a variety of unique challenges. Look to a flexible line of calf nutrition and health products to help your calves feel and perform their best while also meeting your business needs.”

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When Amy Shiplett joined her family’s operation full time in 2006, she struggled to find detailed information on raising calves and heifers from local resources, but through an online search, she stumbled across an organization that fulfilled her needs.

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Raising heifers can be a challenging business, especially when you’re doing it for someone else. Not only do you have young, vulnerable calves to raise, you have calves with the added stress of being shipped from the dairy to your operation, and you need to make sure you pick up right where they left off.

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Abomasal bloat is a condition commonly found in the dairy and beef industries, but certain situations have increased the number of these cases in young calves in the past five to 10 years.

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What sets farms with great calf health apart from those that struggle to get calves started? Sanitation. It is a bigger investment of time than money and is certainly near the top of the list of important criteria for getting calves off to a good start.

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