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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

Fat is an energy-dense nutrient that is a major component in calf milk replacers (MRs) and dry feeds. Over the last 15-plus years, there have been an array of studies looking at MR formulas with different crude-protein-to-fat ratios.

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Many people know the length of the daily photoperiod signals chickens and other birds to start or stop laying eggs.

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Successful colostrum management requires careful attention to cleanliness. Colostrum, while it is still in a healthy cow, should have a bacteria count of essentially zero. However, by the time it gets into the calf, bacteria counts are often very high.

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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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