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.

Calf care checklist: Scale options for calves, heifers and cows

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, calf program manager Weighing calves is important in benchmarking and evaluating calf performance. In addition to growth rates, weighing calves can help you determine your cost of gain, which is key information for your calf nutrition and management program. Here are some examples of scales that can be used at various points in an animal's life to bechmark its growth.

8 action items to reduce summer calf stressors

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, dairy technical services specialist
Heat stress can have significant impacts on dairy calf health and growth.  Here are eight action items to reduce the negative impacts of summer heat.

Calf care checklist: Identifying dehydration

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products manager
The earlier the better when it comes to catching dehydration in calves.  Identifying mild dehydration and fixing the problem in the early stages will save you a lot of headaches in the coming days.  Here are common signs of dehydration at different levels of severity.

This Makes My Life Easier: Newborn Calf Warming Room

Posted on June 3, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

This past winter, the team at Jauquet's Hillview Dairy LLC in Luxemburg, Wisconsin, completed an addition on its cross-ventilated barn.  The addition, which is next to the maternity pens, includes two heated newborn calf warming rooms.

Veterinarian’s Corner: The Secret to Consistent Calf Performance

Posted on March 2, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Sara Barber and Dan Bakker, Foundation Livestock Service
The secret to a best-cost calf program is simple, repeatable systems with timely feedback to frontline staff performing the work. Every problem is the result of a broken process. Fix the process and the problem will go away – every time.

Create a Smooth Weaning Process

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Ideally, the weaning process results in minimal disruptions in nutrient supply to the calf and, in turn, accelerates grain intake.  Weaning age, starter intake at the onset of weaning, and weaning strategy are all components of a smooth transition into to the grower phase.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Enhancing Gut Immune Function to Prevent Calf Respiratory Disease

Posted on January 28, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
The past two years have both been wet years, which is often associated with an increased risk for bovine respiratory disease in cattle of all ages. Consider these strategies to improve gut health and overall immune function.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Communication

Posted on November 13, 2019 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Heidi Fischer of Fischer-Clark Dairy Farm Inc. discusses the tools her team uses to communicate with each other.

4 Must-Haves for Moving Calves

Posted on July 17, 2019 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
For a smooth transition from the maternity pen to the nursery, make sure your calf-moving equipment has these four key attributes. Pictures included.

Beyond health: Considerations for promoting good welfare in dairy calves – Dr. Jennifer Van Os, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted on June 27, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

When we think about animal welfare, we try to understand what that means from a species-specific biological perspective.  Van Os spoke about what animal welfare means and discussed new animal welfare research and how you could apply that information to practices on your operation.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Newborn Calf Resuscitation

Posted on December 26, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Sheila McGuirk, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
Have resuscitation supplies close to the birthing area. The tools needed are simple:  (1) clean, dry towels, (2) pieces of straw 4 to 6 inches in length, (3) 60cc syringe, and (4) ice water.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Disbudding Pain Management – Dr. Barry Kleppe, Wauankee Veterinary Service

Posted on August 23, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Barry Kleppe, Waunakee Veterinary Service
Think of the old western movie cattle drives - the longhorns were left alone.  Removal of bovine horns has evolved over time. 

Ease Heifer Transition with Low Stress Livestock Handling – Jim Lewis, Vita Plus

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Jim Lewis, Vita Plus dairy field service specialist
Transition is a popular word in the dairy industry.  It is actually a synonym for change.  Virtually everything on the planet resists change to some extent and cattle are no exception. 

The process of introducing transition or change to animals, in this case cattle, influences their performance to varying degrees.

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Dehorning Paste

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Use of dehorning paste is increasingly popular among today's calf raisers.  Following her February edition of "A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser," Katie Grinstead of Vir-Clar Farms in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin recieved many questions about how she uses dehorning paste for her calves.  Katie walks through the simple steps in this

Calf Care Quick Tip: What Happens to Those Calves That Are Not Ready to Transition?

Posted on December 22, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Every calf raiser has had that calf that is not quite ready to move to the next phase. What do you do with her? Do you still take her with the group?  In some cases, that may be fine, but, in other cases, she might fall behind