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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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National survey data concerning dairy calf health and survival have shown little change in success rates over the last 10 to 15 years.

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The cost of raising dairy heifer replacements represent 20 to 25 percent of the total costs of milk production. Keeping heifers healthy, developing consistent growth to attain target goals for frame size and bodyweight by 25 weeks of age without excessive body condition and reducing feed costs are all important factors for managing the heifer enterprise.

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First milking colostrum is an important source of nutrients, non-specific immune factors and passively absorbed maternal antibodies (immunoglobulins or Ig), critical to promote growth and to protect the newborn calf against infectious disease in the first weeks and months of life.

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Former dairyman Harold Burton of Mayslick, Kentucky, says running a replacement operation isn’t as easy as it looks, especially his.

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Over time, I have become more appreciative of the influence of those great teachers from whom we have learned professional skills and correct principles.

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In agriculture we are always working with tighter and tighter budgets. One place there seems to be excess money spent is on replacement heifers.

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