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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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Spring and fall weather conditions often present calf raisers with the challenge of fluctuating temperatures. The rapid and ongoing transition from warm days to cold nights creates a temperature roller coaster that can increase calfhood respiratory disease rates.

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Every day, we make hundreds of decisions. Some are big, while some appear minor and without a significant future impact. Colostrum handling is one of those processes that falsely appears to only have short-term consequences.

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On average, only 36 percent of calf raisers in the U.S. weigh calves to determine rate of gain. Since rate of gain can provide valuable insight into how well your calf program is working, many dairy producers and calf raisers are missing a valuable opportunity.

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The most successful calf programs begin with this end objective in mind: healthy, productive animals ready to enter the milking string in a timely fashion.

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Heifers are a fundamental part of the dairy operation. They are the future of the herd, and an important aspect of their development is to get them pregnant on time, calve in good condition and make a positive return.

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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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