Winter calf barn ventilation

Posted on February 14, 2022 in Dairy Performance
By Barry Visser Temperature fluctuations this winter have presented challenges for calf raisers across the Midwest and many farms have seen an uptick in respiratory issues. Many calf barns rely on natural ventilation to provide clean, fresh air to the calves. This works well in the summertime; however, as doors, windows and curtains are closed in the winter, providing sufficient air exchanges to keep calves healthy can be challenging.

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.

Prevent the pain of frostbite for calves

Posted on February 6, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree
We're likely to see more bitter cold temperatures yet this winter.  Unless frostbite is caught and treated early, the results are often permanent and detrimental.  With limited treatment options, prevention of frostbite is the best strategy.

Know these symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite

Posted on January 30, 2019 in Dairy Performance

The extreme cold weather and wind chills you are dealing with are dangerous. 

Keep this list handy and watch for any symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains that may occur in your family members, employees, or yourself.

Safely warm newborn calves

Posted on January 3, 2019 in Dairy Performance

By Dr. Noah Litherland
Every one of us in the dairy industry has an inborn fondness for cattle, and value newborn calves and the promise they bring. Let’s get wise about thermal support for our calves in the first 24 hours of their lives during cold weather.

It’s time to prepare for winter calf care

Posted on October 19, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Augusta Hagen A hard frost and cooler temperatures mean winter will be here before we know it. The thermal-neutral zone for a calf under 3 weeks of age is 59 to 78 degrees F.  When temperatures dip below 59 degrees, the calf can start to experience cold stress and not grow as efficiently as

Video: First Winter in a New Calf Barn

Posted on February 5, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Ann Hoskins In most respects, it's been a mild winter.  However, the recent cold and snow blasts have brought back memories of last winter's polar vortexes and that little Pennsylvanian groundhog just said we have six weeks to go. Many calf barns went up last summer in response to the previous harsh winter.  That

Maintaining heifer performance in cold stress

Posted on January 8, 2015 in Dairy Performance
By Pat Hoffman We're all feeling the immense chill right now, especially as we're out working with animals.  We place particular focus on young calves as changes in feeding and management are required to help calves not only survive, but also grow to their potential despite the temperature outside. What we might now focus on

Safety and care in the bitter cold

Posted on January 6, 2014 in Dairy Performance
Working in these extremely cold temperatures is not easy.  Please do your best to work safely as you care for your animals.  Here are a few reminders from your Vita Plus team for dealing with harsh winter conditions on the farm: For your team By Scott Hall, Vita Plus safety director You can’t take care

Because they can’t wear ski jackets and snow pants

Posted on February 1, 2013 in Dairy Performance
By Ann Hoskins It’s cold out there.  No doubt about it.  Your calves are noticing it too. Just like you put on multiple layers of clothing before you head outside in the winter, your calves need to “bundle up” when it gets cold. What’s more, their “winter outfits” need to be dry and clean to