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.

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! 

Protect the gut to protect the lungs

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services Respiratory disease is one of the primary challenges to successful heifer calf development. Maintaining intestinal integrity (protecting the gut) appears to be one path to protecting the lungs and decreasing respiratory disease risk. Thus, one goal of calf nutrition is to maintain intestinal integrity.

Expert’s corner: Scour vaccine protocols for dairy beef calves

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Trey Gellert, Four Star Veterinary Service, LLC It is critically important to vaccinate dairy beef calves because these calves may be co-mingled or stressed, or have unknown colostrum intake, colostrum quality, or dairy farm disease pressure. These make the dairy beef calf unique and different compared to typical cow/calf and dairy youngstock.

Special edition virtual farm tour: Drumlin Dairy LLC

Posted on December 17, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
For this special edition virtual farm tour, we visit a commercial dairy goat farm to compare and contrast management of dairy goats with that of calves and heifers.

Learning from the swine industry: Starting nursery piglets

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
We can often gain helpful knowledge, awareness and practical tips when we look outside of our day-to-day activities. Pat Bane was named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2018. In this article, he shares his insights for successfully raising nursery piglets. By Pat Bane, Bane Family Pork co-owner and manager There is not a more stressful time in a pig’s life than the days following weaning. Anything we can do to lessen that stress is a benefit to the animal.

Expert’s corner: When maternal colostrum runs short

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager Years of research prove the immense, long-term impact high-quality colostrum has on the health and performance of calves – the future of your herd. 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.

Calf care checklist: Alternative bedding options

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist Farmers and calf raisers generally have a very strong understanding of the pros and cons of wehat straw, sawdust, wood shavings and sand as bedding sources because they are so prevalent. However, several alternative bedding materials may be available in your area and their pros and cons are often not as well known. The goal of this article is to highlight some of these alternative bedding materials and outline the pros and cons of each.

VIDEO: Calf chat with Noah – Uncommon cause of loose manure

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Noah Litherland, dairy technical services specialist, shares his recent experience of working with a herd veterinarian to identify an uncommon cause of loose manure.  Visit our YouTube channel for more editions of Calf Chat.

Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 colostrum replacers: High-value tools for newborn calf care

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 premium calf colostrum replacers fully mix in less than 30 seconds and conveniently deliver more immunoglobulins per dollar in a single 2-quart feeding. To learn more, contact your Vita Plus consultant or dealer consultant, check our our product brochure, or call 800.362.8334.

Calf care checklist: 3 steps for good water hygiene

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Everyone knows water is one of six essential nutrients.  However, the magnitude of its importance is often unrealized and, in some situations, downplayed.

Veterinarian’s corner: Farms need to consider more than ‘just dip the navel’

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
We all know we need to dip calf navels - it is something that farmers, veterinarians and consultants all tend to agree upon. However, did you know that 5% to 20% of calves in the U.S. develop navel infections and 1.6% of calf deaths can be attributed to navel disease?  That indicates we need to do better than telling employees to “just dip the navel.”

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Lucas – Cool dry cows

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
 In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell explains how heat stress on the dry cow impacts the future growth and performance of her calf. Visit our YouTube channel for more segments of Calf Chat.

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.

Veterinarian’s corner: Dissecting a necropsy lab report

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

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
After a necropsy is completed at the farm, the veterinarian will prepare any samples and submit them to an accredited diagnostic laboratory.  The samples will be examined by a staff pathologist over the next several weeks. Here's an explanation of what you'll find on the lab report.