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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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Since calves are the animals most vulnerable and sensitive to change on a dairy, transitions are critical for calves. Just because they are weaned does not mean calves are now home free without issues. In fact, the month after weaning is really a transition period for calves.

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Replacement heifers are critical to the longevity and sustainability of dairy operations. Special attention should be paid to raising calves, as many aspects influence lifelong health and future productivity, including maternal factors during gestation, colostrum management, nutrition, vaccination program, housing and environmental conditions.

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Is it okay for the grain bucket to be empty? Before I answer that question, let us go over the importance of starter intake for pre-weaned calves.

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Necropsies can be an extremely valuable tool in diagnosing herd health problems. Before you begin, review the calf’s history:

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Being a part of the dairy industry is a fulfilling and rewarding privilege, but it can also be an unpredictable journey. Milk prices are constantly fluctuating, and it can make budget evaluation difficult. For this reason, we pose a simple question: What should producers be feeding their calves from an economic standpoint?

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The U.S. calf mortality rate is 6% to 8% (7.8%, USDA, 2007; 8.1%, USDA, 2010; 6%, USDA, 2017), inclusive of all housing types. According to Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Gold Standards, the target mortality rate from 24 hours old to 60 days old is 3% or less.

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