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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.

LATEST

Immunity in a healthy and strong calf begins before birth.

Producers often focus on the pathogens that create disease in young calves, but the focus needs to shift to a holistic approach in building up immunity through colostrum, nutrition, the calving process, environment and management.

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Management strategy defines the success of calf programs. Calves are challenged from birth with an immature immune system, and at the same time they are programmed to grow quickly.

A large part of managing young calves is their feeding program. It is an important first step to ensure that the milk replacer has been formulated with good-quality milk ingredients for optimal digestion and growth.

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A common misconception is that calves should receive colostrum from their own dam or herd to be protected against pathogens present on their own farm.

However, certain natural colostrum replacers do in fact provide protection from diseases worldwide and should be considered in any colostrum management program.

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Best management practices allow all the good things for the baby calf that keep her properly nourished and comfortable as she grows from heifer into her first lactation.

We like to think these include automatically good feet and legs that will walk right into the fresh cow group ready to create farm profit.

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Neonatal calf loss within 48 hours of calving is re-emerging as a major issue for producers.

Recent studies show an increase in calf losses, particularly in heifers, in dairy industries internationally.

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Unless you have been closely monitoring weight gains and feed efficiency in your calves, you may not realize something is holding them back from their real growth potential.

The cause may be Cryptosporidium parvum (C. parvum), a parasitic protozoan that can infect many mammals, including humans. C. parvum is a primary cause of scours that infects calves from birth to 6 weeks old.

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