Virtual Farm Tour: Mystic Valley Dairy LLC

Posted on October 19, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Mitch Breunig is focused on raising great calves and heifers at Mystic Valley Dairy LLC in Sauk City, Wisconsin, and he embraces new research and technologies to help his team achieve that goal. The farm’s commitment to excellence allows it to sell about 150 replacement heifers each year.

Calf care checklist: 5 steps to stay ahead of a colostrum slump

Posted on October 19, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Bethany Dado-Senn | If your farm has a seasonal decrease in colostrum production across the late-fall and early-winter months, the following proactive steps can help you maintain a constant supply of high-quality colostrum for your valuable replacement herd.

Target growth weights in weaned heifers

Posted on October 19, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Lucas Mitchell | While there is no universal growth target for weaned heifers, farmers should take the time to develop target growth goals for their weaned heifers because, if they don’t, they may be unintentionally losing first-lactation milk.

VIDEO: Calf chat with Noah – Rail-feeding systems

Posted on October 19, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this segment, Dr. Noah Litherland describes how rail-feeding systems and group pens are successfully used to raise preweaned calves.

Veterinarian’s corner: Dairy beef respiratory vaccine strategies

Posted on October 19, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Trey Gellert | One-day-old dairy beef calves need to be set up for long-term success. Starting these calves with the end goal in mind will lead to mutually beneficial relationship for the producer and calf. In this second article of a two-part series on vaccinations, we discuss dairy beef respiratory vaccine protocols.

Virtual Farm Tour: Felten Farms

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Felten Farms in St. Cloud, Wisconsin, milks about 400 cows and raises all its heifers onsite with mostly family labor. Eric Felten takes the lead on calf feeding and care. He said he began exploring ways to improve calf management a couple of years ago to increase the efficiency and performance in this area of the farm.

VIDEO: Calf chat with Lucas – 3 critical components of fly control

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell shares the three critical components of an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to reduce flies - and the stress and disease they can cause - in your youngstock operation.

Calf care checklist: These calf behaviors can say a lot about the weaning program

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Noah Litherland | Observing the behavior of recently weaned calves can help you judge whether your weaning program is on point or if a few adjustments will reduce stress (and maintain performance) in these young animals.

Expert’s corner: Mitigating heat stress in youngstock

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Bethany Dado-Senn | The latest concern and next frontier for dairy cattle environmental management is the mitigation of heat stress in youngstock. This has been particularly apparent the past few weeks as most of the Midwest has seen multiple heat waves. If you’re looking to provide heat stress abatement to your calves or heifers, here are a few options you might consider.

Prevent the challenging heifer cycle (part 2)

Posted on July 27, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Noah Litherland | A challenging heifer cycle occurs when a portion of the heifer development phase does not go as planned and results in heifers that have lower-than-expected rates of growth, lung consolidation, or increased rate of non-completion of first lactation. The net result is often a reduced return on investment from the heifer program. This article, the second in a two-part series, discuss the impacts of management, labor and facilities.

Virtual farm tour: Loehr Farms, LLC

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Loehr Farms, LLC in Eden, Wisconsin, is a sixth-generation dairy farm.  After a herd expansion, the Loehr family built a new calf barn with an autofeeder.  Herdsman Ryan Loehr said the autofeeder allows him to spend more time with the calves that need it.

Calf chat with Ann (video): What affects passive transfer?

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager, discusses the factors that affect passive transfer beyond how much IgG is fed to the calf.

Prevent the challenging heifer cycle (part 1)

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services A challenging heifer cycle occurs when a portion of the heifer development phase does not go as planned and results in heifers that have lower-than-expected rates of growth, lung consolidation, or increased rate of non-completion of first lactation.  The net result is often a reduced return on investment from the heifer program.

Calf care checklist: 5 ways to manage feed shrink

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist With the current state of feed prices, every penny counts and the importance of managing feed shrink in all areas of the dairy has been magnified. Here are five ways to manage feed shrink of calf feed.

Expert’s corner: Electrolytes for calves

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Megan Weisenbeck, Northern Valley Livestock Services Regardless of the cause of diarrhea, replacement of water - ideally by electrolyte solutions - is a main part of the treatment plan.  Note the phrase “replacement of water.”  The most critical part of offering electrolytes is water! 

This makes my life easier: Milk replacer scale

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
"Consistency is very important to us when it comes to our calves. To make sure they get the same solids at every feeding, we weigh the milk replacer powder and water. This stand makes that job much easier." - Healther Schuld, Hasel Farms, Lake Mills, Wisconsin