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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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“We need to make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.” This quote, which is often attributed to Albert Einstein, accurately sums up our quest to deliver optimal nutrition to pre-weaned calves.

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To successfully implement current scientific findings on metabolic programming in practice, and thus raise healthier calves with a better performance potential and higher milk yield, the more traditional dietary recommendations of feeding calves must be revised.

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Successful calf and heifer raising can be measured in a few ways. Ultimately, the investment put into replacement animals results in a reduced age at first calving (optimum target of 22 to 24 months), leading to lower costs as fewer heifers are raised and higher returns due to greater lifetime profitability.

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Understanding the basic principles of calf barn ventilation is essential in evaluating the many different ventilation options available today. There is no single ventilation system that will work for every situation because each calf barn is unique in its structure and layout.

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Recent research done at the University of Guelph identified over 26 percent of male calves had a significantly enlarged navel with heat, pain, moisture or malodorous discharge when examined at arrival to a veal facility.

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On average, dairies lose 5 to 15 percent of their calves in the first three weeks of life due to scours, making it the number one killer of calves. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools and protocols, it is possible to maintain less than a 1.5 percent death loss in these young calves.

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