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CALVES & HEIFERS

The future of your herd depends on quality colostrum, sound milk replacer or pasteurized waste milk along with proper bedding and ventilation.

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Four calf care experts came together to provide practical information for dairy producers to further enhance their calf- and heifer-raising programs during a panel presentation on April 6 at the Canadian Dairy XPO in Stratford, Ontario.

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Recently, it has become common practice to feed calves using an automatic milk feeder, which offers the ability to feed higher volumes of milk. Despite this prevalence, many questions about automatic feeding practices remain unanswered.

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When we talk about calf barn ventilation, there are as many ventilation options out there as there are calf facilities. Many people promote positive-pressure tube ventilation, while others suggest tunnel or cross ventilation, and some claim that outdoor calf hutches are still the best way to go.

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Heat stress is a major concern for calves. Research has proven calves suffer from heat stress in much the same way cows do. A calf’s temperature threshold can be easily reached during summer months.

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Dairy producers often use data to make informed decisions on the milking herd. This information can be generated through the producer organization website, on-farm recording software and services.

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Raising a calf to become a high-producing cow is critical to a herd’s future. To help dairy producers in their quest to develop more productive animals, the last decade of industry and university research has explored the connection between calf nutrition and lactation performance.

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