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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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“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
—Lewis Carroll

Before anything else can happen, the newborn calf requires immediate “best care” to get a great start in life.

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Raising replacement heifers is one of the largest investments made on a dairy. The costs associated with heifer raising can represent up to 20 percent of milk production costs, making this line item one of the largest expenses for a dairy.

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With heifer raising accounting for roughly 20 percent of total farm expenses, paying close attention to heifer nutrition and management is essential for raising quality replacement animals without adding on unnecessary expenses.

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During the gestation period, a cow does all it can to grow an embryo into a calf. The dam’s contributions for its offspring to be successful do not cease at parturition.

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When calves are fed twice a day and housed in individual pens or hutches, the morning feeder is greeted by loud bawling of calves anxiously awaiting their morning meal. It may have been more than 12 hours since their last meal of 2 litres of milk or milk replacer.

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Keeping calves alive means you have a successful calf-raising program, right? While it’s true that low mortality is a critical metric, in today’s economic environment many other parameters contribute to calf-raising success.

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