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The future of your herd depends on quality colostrum, sound milk replacer or pasteurized waste milk along with proper bedding and ventilation.


The common dairy practice is to separate a dairy calf from its dam at birth and place it in individual housing. This helps to protect the calf from pathogens and makes it easy for the calf raiser to monitor, but it limits social contact for the animal.

According to Margit Bak Jensen of Aarhus University in Denmark, early social contact to the dam or social contact to other calves during the milk feeding period has beneficial effects on behaviour and welfare; social contact to other calves also stimulates earlier and larger intakes of solid food.

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Replacement heifers represent the future of your dairy herd.

They also account for a significant operating expense for the dairy, second only to the cost of feeding the milking herd.

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If you ask most consumers what breeds of cows have horns, many disconnected from agriculture would respond that bulls have horns and cows don’t. This seems logical and hard to disprove because most dairy cows in milking form or in pictures have no horns.

The practice of dehorning has been performed over many years to protect cows from injuring other cows and the farmers that care for them.

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What the research says
Summer heat – The summer of 2012 was hot, and calves have suffered in the heat. Daytime highs consistently over 26°C (maybe even lower than 26°C) cause heat stress in calves and will reduce growth.

Heat abatement strategies during hot weather include water, fans, shade and elevation of hutches.

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During the winter season, many question how successful are their calf-raising programs.

Raising calves in the winter is always a big challenge, for both the animals and the people who work with them.

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Have you heard of anyone rushing in to become a custom heifer raiser? Didn’t think so.

Custom heifer raisers and dairy producers with replacements know there is little wiggle room in heifer raising for profit.

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