Producers share calf thoughts

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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.

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