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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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Over the last 10 years, the dairy industry has shown an increased interest in early life feeding programs for calves, spurred in part by several studies and meta-analyses illustrating the potential effect of greater pre-weaning average daily gain on future milk production.

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As a major energy source, fat is an important element to consider in a calf milk replacer. Fat, however, has other nutritional effects beyond being a source of energy. Butterfat offers a unique fatty acid, namely butyric acid.

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A newborn calf is the most vulnerable animal on a dairy. Born with an immature immune system, the calf can’t effectively handle pathogen challenges in the environment until 3 to 4 weeks old. In the meantime, young calves are bombarded with a host of stressors and disease-causing pathogens.

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Extensive calf rumen development studies were done in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s at Iowa State University, Cornell University and the U.K. National Institute for Research in Dairying.

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There are many topics to discuss when managing heifer inventory. Producers give careful thought to feed and labour costs, reproduction, semen strategies, etc. – the list can go on and on.

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Have you ever bought a new tractor and wished you would have recorded all the little things the dealer rep explained and showed to you? Calf raisers might very well have the same experience when installing autofeeders.

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