Dairy Herd Management Articles:
Heifer nutrition and growth rates
One calf grower shares his advice.
Do preconditioning programs work for dairy heifers?
It may be time to take a lesson from the beef industry.
More frequent meals may benefit calves
New research at the University of Minnesota found that calves increased grain intake when fed milk replacer four times a day.
Digging into vitamin D needs for calves
A new model should help determine just how much of this nutrient dairy calves should get to promote optimal growth and health.
Evaluate your weaning strategies
New information may have you reconsider your approach.
Strategies to enhance intake
Stimulating starter grain intake early in a calf’s life has both health and growth benefits. In the April Nutritionist e-Network, Noah Litherland, extension dairy scientist, and Alanna Kmicikewycz, graduate research assistant, at the University of Minnesota, share strategies on how to enhance starter grain intake in pre-weaned dairy claves. Read their 12 management strategies.
Can we pasteurize colostrum?
Controlling bacteria levels in colostrum is an important aspect of managing this important first feed for calves. Once it is collected, colostrum can be refrigerated, frozen, or have potassium sorbate added to control bacterial growth (though the latter is seldom used). We are learning that pasteurization can also be used to reduce bacterial growth in colostrum.
Nutrition and udder edema in first-calf heifers
A smooth transition into the milking herd is essential for heifers’ success in the first lactation and beyond. One challenge that affects first-calf heifers more than older cows is udder edema.
Mycotoxins can impact calves
In most species, young animals are more sensitive than mature animals to the effects of mycotoxins. However, dairy cattle may be the exception to the rule, says Duarte Diaz, ruminant research manager at Novus International.
Body condition score your calves
There are many different feeding programs for preweaned calves. Selecting the right milk or milk replacer option and starter is not easy, says Steve Hayes, veterinarian with Day 1 Technology in Winona, Minn.
Start her off right
We often invest much time, effort and money into getting cows pregnant, but take little time or effort taking care of that pregnancy once it comes time for the calf to enter the world.
Feed heifers a TMR
Results from a new study published in the April issue of the Journal of Dairy Science suggest that feeding a total mixed ration to replacement heifers may promote a more even daytime feeding pattern, minimize feed sorting and feed bunk competition, and promote more solid fecal consistency.
Flavored calf starter?
Many of the foods we consume today contain added flavoring to make them more appealing and enjoyable to eat. But would flavoring added to calf starter make starter more appealing to calves and improve intakes?
Realities of feeding small calves
There are many myths that surround the feeding of small calves. People often believe that Jerseys aren’t very thrifty and they die easily. Bob James, dairy scientist at Virginia Tech, discusses these myths and the realities of feeding small calves.
Changes in medicated milk replacer regulations
The FDA ruling on medicated milk replacers gives calf raisers an opportunity to focus on preventing coccidiosis from day one.
Make colostrum replacers work for calves
One of the most crucial aspects of calf health is getting adequate amounts of high quality IgG into calves as soon as possible after birth, says Travis Thayer, DVM, AgriLabs. Proper collection, handling and administration of colostrum are essential to get calves off to a good start.
Taking heifer reproduction to the next level
Use these guidelines to get heifers bred.
Options to replace NT
As a result of the new FDA regulations for medicated milk replacers that go into effect this year, many calf-raisers are looking for an option to replace the 2:1 combo of Neomycin and Oxytetracycline or NT.
Take her higher
There is a growing consensus that calves fed to a "higher plane of nutrition" are healthier than their conventionally fed counterparts.
Milk replacers and nutrient digestion
There have been nutritional concerns about feeding young calves milk replacer solids of 0.9 kilograms (1.98 pounds) of dry matter or more due to slumps in average daily gain. New research by Nurture Research, a part of Provimi North America (formerly Akey Nutrition and Research), provides new insight to these concerns.
Improve your colostrum feeding program
Here are some guidelines for proper use of a colostrometer.
Time to revisit acidified milk replacer?
Acidified milk or milk replacer fed to calves may provide an option for reducing the incidence of scours.
New regulations for medicated milk replacers
In the fall of 2009, the FDA announced major changes to the use of neomycin-terramycin (NT) in milk replacers.
Solve colostrum feeding problems
Use these tips to troubleshoot colostrum feeding problems on your dairy farm.
Calves can thrive in cold weather
According to research published in the December Journal of Dairy Science, when calves receive adequate nutrition, they can tolerate considerable periods of cold without affecting growth.
Should you enhance your calf-feeding program?
The latest research on accelerated calf-feeding programs is discussed.
Make alternative feeds work
A nutritionist offers insight on what to look for in an alternative feed and how to evaluate its nutrient value.
Management decisions for automatic feeders
Automatic feeders require many management decisions to be made. One calf manager offers insight into making these decisions.
Ins and outs of automatic calf feeders< <br /> CY Heifer Farm in Elba, N.Y., shares its experience with automatic calf feeders.
Get them off to a good start
Nutritionist Al Kertz offers comments on calf-rearing programs and the need to get calves off to a good start.
Are you feeding quality colostrum?
Sam Leadley, calf-care specialist with Attica (N.Y.) Veterinary Associates, offers several tips.
Excellence in colostrum management
Use these tips to help your calves.