What do you do when maternal colostrum runs short?

Posted on December 29, 2021 in Dairy Performance
By Ann Hoskins Maternal colostrum is a high-value asset on your farm. Unfortunately, that asset often runs short this time of year as many farms see a slump in colostrum production between November and February. Farms need to have a “plan B” in place as they don’t want to short calves on this vital nutrition.

5 ways a calf says she’s getting the right amount of milk

Posted on March 15, 2021 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell
Similar to how we rely on the lactating herd’s performance to indicate if something is working or not, if we pay attention to how the calves are performing, they will show us if they are receiving too much, too little, or just the right amount of milk.

When maternal colostrum runs short

Posted on November 13, 2020 in Dairy Performance

By Ann Hoskins
Maternal colostrum is a high-value asset on your farm.  Unfortunately, that asset often runs short this time of year as many farms see a slump in colostrum production between November and February.  Farms need to have a “plan B” in place as they don’t want to short calves on this vital nutrition.

Build your own colostrum thawing and heating unit

Posted on October 27, 2020 in Dairy Performance

Refrigerating or freezing excess high-quality colostrum (greater than 22% Brix reading) is a great way to ensure each newborn calf receives this vital nutrition at birth.  Because high temperatures can destroy immunoglobulins (IgGs) and other nutrients, colostrum should be carefully thawed and warmed before feeding it to the calf.  Producers can easily build their own colostrum thawing and heating unit to accomplish this task by following these simple steps.

5 questions to ask your vet

Posted on January 29, 2019 in Dairy Performance

When was the last time you and your herd veterinarian spent time together with calves?  Even if the calves are healthy, your veterinarian should still be involved in the development of calf management practices.  Here are five questions to ask your herd veterinarian to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of your calf-rearing program.

Balance milk and starter feeding for efficient calf growth

Posted on November 13, 2018 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Zach Sawall
A calf is born with a sterile rumen environment void of bacteria, protozoa and fungi.  Microbes in the gut populate slowly at first, but speed up over time.  This process of developing the calf into a ruminant is one of the main goals of the nursery phase.  If a calf consumes more than 0.4 pounds of fat from milk, starter grain intake begins to be suppressed.  Therefore, to maximize starter grain intake, a balanced milk feeding program should accompany a quality starter grain. 

Vita Plus Calf Summit 2018 Recap

Posted on July 9, 2018 in Dairy Performance

More than 175 calf raisers, Vita Plus consultants and industry peers came together June 20 and 21 for Vita Plus Calf Summit 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Follow the links in this post to access full event coverage, including speakers' PowerPoint presentations, articles and more.

The Right Focus: Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2017 Recap

Posted on January 8, 2018 in Dairy Performance

More than 330 dairy producers, Vita Plus consultants and industry peers came together December 6 and 7 for Vita Plus Dairy Summit 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Follow the links in this post to access full event coverage, including speakers' PowerPoint presentations, articles, videos and more.

Colostrum for one and all

Posted on February 15, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Laurie Winkelman Calves are born into this world without immunity or the ability to fight off pathogens and infections.  Unlike humans, the cow’s placenta does not allow antibodies to transfer from cow to calf.  High quality colostrum is the only way to prepare these newborns for the rest of their lives. The benefits

Limit infections in challenging environments

Posted on November 28, 2012 in Dairy Performance
By Dr. Owen Mickley This season’s temperature swings aren’t easy for calves.  We've been hearing about an increase in navel infections, ear tag infections and joint swelling. Remember, any increase in infection or treatment rate is cause for concern.  These problems may seem minor, but could indicate an opportunity to enhance the current system.  If