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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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It is probably safe to say that respiratory disease in dairy calves (BRD) is an all-too-familiar problem for dairy producers. During late fall and early spring, fluctuating weather is a challenge and typically increases the number of calves treated for BRD.

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So which came first, the chicken or the egg? In her presentation at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s Calf Care Connection event last October, Dr. Sandra Godden, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, likened the question of calf-feeding systems versus housing systems to this age-old quandary.

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Want smarter cows? Try raising calves with social companions.

Previous work from the UBC Dairy Education and Research Centre demonstrated that calves raised in individual pens had more difficulty adapting to a group pen with five other calves after weaning than calves raised in pairs did.

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Ontario is one of the richest regions of the world in terms of access to fresh water. While water seems to be all around us and always available, the importance of water quality and its role in a young animal’s life is often neglected.

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“That depends,” you say. “Are you talking about comparing the two liquids or whether colostrum feeding affects future production?”

“Both,” I say.

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It happens. Good intentions with good directions fall apart with poor implementation or misunderstanding. Colostrum did not get fed. The calf hutch did not get cleaned. Feed was late getting delivered.

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