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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

Calving season brings the joy of newborns on the farm. Managing the health and development of these calves encompasses many different factors but one nutrient that is often overlooked, or taken for granted, is water.

Whether you are running a cow-calf farm on pasture or are raising deacon calves, water plays an essential role in a calf’s development which in turn affects their overall health and wellbeing.

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It all starts with a tag. 

When a dairy calf is born, an eartag is the best means of identifying and tracking that animal throughout its lifetime.

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Cows spend the vast majority of their lives eating forages and concentrates and turning those products into large volumes of high-quality milk. But it’s the first four to six weeks of their lives that impact their development and even productivity later in life.

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When we hear the phrase “challenges in the transition pen,” we often think about the lactating herd, paying particular attention to the transition from a dry, non-lactating animal to a highly productive lactating animal. We do this because we know that compounding challenges during this stage can have a dramatic impact on the entire lactation.

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Remember the children’s story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” in which a young girl tastes three different bowls of porridge and discovers she doesn’t like it too hot or too cold but at just the right temperature? When it comes to preferences, calves and Goldilocks share something in common.

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It is easy to fall in the pattern of thinking that once calves are weaned off milk the hard part is over, and you can turn a blind eye to them until it’s time for breeding.

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