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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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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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Bovine respiratory disease, more commonly referred to as dairy calf pneumonia, is a leading cause of death in pre-weaning calves.

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There have been numerous scientific studies that have shown exposing lactating dairy cows to a long-day photoperiod (LDPP – 16 to 18 hours of light and six to eight hours of dark) in a 24-hour period improves milk production and reproduction performance, that this response persists through an entire lactation, perhaps increasing milk yield as much as 8 to 10 percent.

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Today’s economic downturn requires a long-term perspective and a focus on efficiency in modern dairy operation systems.

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