A visual analysis of heifers arriving at your calf operation can set the stage for a successful program.

Upon arrival at your calf operation, a visual scorecard should be taken for heifers, including body condition scores, injury, thriftiness and diseases (ringworm, pneumonia, diarrhea, etc.). This is done so that a quick status of the newly arrived heifers can be assigned, says Greg Goodell, veterinarian with the Dairy Authority in Greeley, Colo.

Full access should be given to clean water and a total mixed ration that is consistent for the age of the heifers arriving. Placing the animals in a quarantine pen is highly recommended, as issues such as salmonella bovine viral diarrhea and pasturella infections are still prevalent.