Summer climate changes mean preweaned calves need more water in their diets to prevent dehydration. But calf and heifer specialist Sam Leadley says calves also need water year-around for optimal digestive development.
Data gathered in a recent study by the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System also yields important information regarding colostrum delivery, calf nutrition, ventilation and maternal heat stress.
The health and productivity of young calves can be affected by a wide range of metabolic and pathogenic conditions. Among the maladies that can profoundly affect calves’ health is their intake and balance of sodium.
Dairy calf research in the preweaned phase has been plentiful in the past few decades. However, there is now much to be learned in the relatively unchartered nutritional territory of the post-weaning phase.
When raising replacement heifers, cost per pound of gain is a far more important metric than daily feed cost, according to Tamilee Nennich, dairy nutritionist and board member for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association.
Researchers at UC-Davis have developed a handy, easy-to-use diagnostic tool to streamline monitoring of calves for respiratory disease, so they can be detected and cared for early in the disease process.