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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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In our previous article, “Colostrum, transition milk and maternal impact: There’s still a lot to learn,” we discussed the overwhelming amount of information left to be uncovered in regard to the newborn dairy calf and colostrum management.

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In this day and age, producers are great at making heifers. Reproductive and calf raising management practices have dramatically improved through the years, resulting in an abundance of replacement heifers. The benefit of that is we have plenty of animals to keep operations full and have the genetically best heifers possible.

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Whether we’re talking about a kid with one 4-H calf or a calf ranch with tens of thousands of calves, the key questions about feeding calves are the same.

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Proper barn planning saves time and money. For every decision, it is important to understand its associated ramifications. In calf barns, housing style and pen configuration decisions impact ventilation options, which in turn affects the overall success of the barn.

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The more we learn about the birth process and what happens when calves enter the world, the more we realize how critical those first moments of life are.

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A recent study demonstrated approximately 23 percent of calves were treated for diarrhea during the pre-weaning period. Calves that have a case of diarrhea during the pre-weaning period are not only at a higher risk of death; they also have reduced growth and milk production.

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