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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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A heifer’s life can be divided into four main periods: newborn and colostrum; pre-weaning; post-weaning; and growing, puberty and pregnancy. Using key benchmarks and well-established protocols during these periods allow producers to find opportunities in replacement programs and allow them to concentrate on changes that will impact profitability.

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What’s your dairy cow’s milkfat content? It’s an easy question, right? You likely have milkfat records from generations on your farm and could readily explain how your milk components have changed over the years or pinpoint what management and feeding practices caused reductions or increases in milkfat.

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“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
—Lewis Carroll

Before anything else can happen, the newborn calf requires immediate “best care” to get a great start in life.

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Raising replacement heifers is one of the largest investments made on a dairy. The costs associated with heifer raising can represent up to 20 percent of milk production costs, making this line item one of the largest expenses for a dairy.

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With heifer raising accounting for roughly 20 percent of total farm expenses, paying close attention to heifer nutrition and management is essential for raising quality replacement animals without adding on unnecessary expenses.

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During the gestation period, a cow does all it can to grow an embryo into a calf. The dam’s contributions for its offspring to be successful do not cease at parturition.

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