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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.

LATEST

Calves are the future of your dairy. We know their health, growth and performance before weaning will have impacts on production, reproduction and longevity later in life.

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A tremendous amount of focus and attention is given to trying to reduce sickness and death occurring in the preweaning period or the first 60 days of life. However, an even more deadly period in the calf’s life occurs in the first few hours after birth.

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Think of calf rumen development as a journey. Calves transition through nutritional stages – from milk to starter and grower to TMR. What’s being fed at each of those stages impacts rumen development.

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It’s one of those moments on the dairy that makes all the stress and worry dissipate. As the still damp newborn heifer tries once, twice and finally succeeds on the third attempt to stand, there’s an overwhelming feeling of hope and optimism for the future. The last thing on your mind is the obscure bacteria lurking in the shadows.

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A heifer’s life can be divided into four main periods: newborn and colostrum; pre-weaning; post-weaning; and growing, puberty and pregnancy. Using key benchmarks and well-established protocols during these periods allow producers to find opportunities in replacement programs and allow them to concentrate on changes that will impact profitability.

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What’s your dairy cow’s milkfat content? It’s an easy question, right? You likely have milkfat records from generations on your farm and could readily explain how your milk components have changed over the years or pinpoint what management and feeding practices caused reductions or increases in milkfat.

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