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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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One of the best ways to ensure a successful colostrum-management program is by testing colostrum on-farm and verifying passive transfer of immunity. It can be easy, affordable, and the health and productivity of our calves are worth the effort.

Looking at colostrum or knowing the parity of the cow should never be relied upon as an accurate assessment of colostrum quality.

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It is no secret dairy producers don’t like dealing with sick calves. They are young, vulnerable and treatment can be expensive.

Diarrhea, or what is commonly referred to as scours, continues to be the top challenge we face with preweaned calves. Preventing calfhood diarrhea should always be our first priority, but an effective preventive strategy also includes knowing when to utilize treatment.

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Weaning is a critical transition period for young dairy calves. Under traditional cow-calf operations in the beef industry, the calf stays with the cow through the milk feeding period.

Through this time the calf has access to the mother’s milk and learns socially with the mother to graze and ruminate as early as 3 weeks old.

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A busy postmortem room is a very exciting, entreating environment. It is also an important diagnostic tool for a practitioner and a dairy farmer.

I remember a case coming from a large dairy farm in the U.S. Northeast. The calves were kept in hutches, and they were given milk replacer with fluids.

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To maintain a profitable business model and maximize productivity, producers need to be highly efficient with available resources. In today’s dairy industry, high genetic potential in heifers is one of the most rewarding resource investments.

However, the capability to take advantage of replacement heifer potential is not always straightforward. It is an area where critical aspects may not be considered. This leads to many producers taking two steps forward and one step backward.

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Protection against infections among young calves is directly related to antibody levels in their blood.

Using serum from a blood sample, we can estimate circulating antibody levels in young calves.

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