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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

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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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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