What matters the most to producers when it comes to calf care? Gary Geisler, calf and heifer specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition conducted a survey of Wisconsin calf raisers (ranging from 40-240 calves) in December 2013/January 2014. He asked them to identify what they monitored to measure success in raising calves.
In order, survey responses included:
1) Weaning weights
2) Death loss
3) Number of treatments (primarily scours and respiratory diseases)
4) 5- to 6-month weights
5) Calf starter intake
When asked what they wanted from their dairy calf care givers, responses were:
• Have a true love for the animal and do a good job watching for problems
• Always be observant
• Walking pens looking for sick calves, bedding more often, and keeping water clean
• Watching and thinking of things to help improve processes.