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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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From birth, calves’ naïve immune systems are assaulted by challenges: new environments, fast diet transitions, exposure to disease and sometimes transportation and commingling. That makes it no surprise the dairy industry continues to battle pre-weaning losses.

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Over the last 10 years, the dairy industry has shown an increased interest in early life feeding programs for calves, spurred in part by several studies and meta-analyses illustrating the potential effect of greater pre-weaning average daily gain on future milk production.

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I read mixing directions on a milk replacer tag recently, and it said “mix at 15% solids” which seems simple enough. But what does “15% solids” mean? Is it 15% by weight or 15% by volume?

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Day in and day out, dairy farmers provide the best in animal husbandry. There are occasions when animals get sick and need antimicrobial therapy to overcome a specific disease challenge.

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Currently, producers throughout the U.S. may be asked to either dump loads of milk or reduce production as dairy markets respond to decreased demand for dairy products caused by changes in the restaurant trade. This is a challenging proposition with few totally “right” answers.

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A common goal of any dairy farmer is to grow healthy calves that can express their full genetic potential in the parlor. But, for all calves to become high-producing cows, they must have a successful transition from a milk-based diet to a grain and forage-based diet.

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