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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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Myths – we’ve all heard them. Bulls hate red, salt helps water boil faster, you shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker, and on and on and on …

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Change. Not many people like it. In fact, there are hundreds of books, podcasts and seminars all dedicated to the topic of “embracing change.”

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When you hear the word “transition,” do you automatically think of your pre- and post-fresh cows? Most dairymen do, but there’s another important transition group that requires your attention. That group is made up of calves transitioning off milk and onto a diet made up of dry feeds.

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Editor’s note: This is the second of two articles about managing the maternity area and newborn calves using a team approach. Click here to read the first article "Putting more 'Ma' in your maternity: The cow's perspective".

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Consistency is one of the most important things calves need. They like their diets and schedules to be the same each day. The first step in achieving consistency is ensuring everyone understands calf care procedures and protocols. They should be clearly written, posted and easy to follow.

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A calf’s digestive system is a battleground between good and bad bacteria. Nutritional additives can bolster good bacteria or diminish bad bacteria to improve gut health, leading to efficient nutrient digestion.

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