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.

Veterinarian’s Corner: View the Unseen with a Necropsy

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

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
There are times when treatment does not seem to work, indicating treatment failure.  This may be due to medication resistance or the disease we thought we were treating was different than anticipated. Necropsy can assist in identifying the cause of death, but it is not utilized as often as it should be.

Calf Care Checklist: Calf Barn Ventilation

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

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products manager
The key to a good calf barn ventilation audit is to evaluate the air quality in many different scenarios. Weather can change the calf environment quickly. Monitoring air should be part of your daily checklist.

How to Introduce Forages to Youngstock

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

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
It's a two-step process to introduce forages to calves. First, we need to "turn" them into ruminants, then we need to let them be ruminants. Forages may play a role in the first part, and they certainly play a role in the second part.

Calf Care Checklist: 8 Key Features of Newborn Calf Pens

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

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Calf care during the first 24 hours after birth has a significant impact on calf performance during the nursery phase and beyond. Make sure you also provide calf pens with these eight key attributes to give your calves the start they need.

Managing Air Quality From a Swine Perspective

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dave Chamberlin, Vita Plus swine technical sales manager, and Garrett Rozeboom, Vita Plus swine technical services manager
Although we focus on animals with only one stomach, many of the practices we use to manage pigs translate across species. These are our top five rules for managing ventilation in swine barns.

Veterinarian’s Corner: The BVD We Face Today

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Curt Vlietstra, Boehringer Ingelheim senior professional services veterinarian
The Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) we see on farms today is different from the BVD that was first identified in the 1940s. While it may not be as obvious as it once was, timely vaccinations and good management can help protect your future herd investment.

Calf Care Checklist: 5 Ways a Calf Tells You She’s Getting the Right Amount of Milk

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
The easiest way to know if we are feeding calves the proper amount of milk is by paying attention to how they perform. Look for these five indicators the next time you walk through the calf barn.

This Makes my Life Easier: Iodine Cups

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

The team at Birchen Farms Inc. in Pearl City, Illinois, pre-fills condiment cups with iodine and stores the cups in buckets in the maternity area. Iodine is always ready and available when a newborn calf needs its navel dipped. The disposable cups prevent cross-contamination between calves.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Late-Term Abortion Diagnostic Work-Ups

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

By Dr. Keith Poulsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
While most of us want to know why all abortions happen, this article focuses on when you should have a diagnostic work-up done, what you can learn from them, and how you can apply it to dairy herd management.

This Makes my Life Easier: SerPass Colostrum Replacers

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

Providing high-quality, clean colostrum to newborn calves may be more difficult in the late-fall and winter months as farms often see a slump in cows’ colostrum production. SerPass colostrum replacers provide a convenient, safe, and effective alternative. 

Make More No. 1 Heifers

Posted on September 18, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Developing replacement heifers is a significant and necessary expenditure for dairies. Make the most of your investment by raising the right number of quality heifers.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Benchmarking – Start Playing Offense for Your Calves

Posted on September 18, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Kendra Wells, Valley Veterinary Clinic
In basketball, offense is when you try to score on your opponents, and defense is reacting to them. When raising calves, monitoring certain benchmarks can help us play offense against pathogens that can negatively affect calf health.

Calf Care Checklist: 5 Steps to Ensure a Smooth Transition at Weaning

Posted on September 18, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
The transition period when a calf is weaned from milk or milk replacer is a stressful time in its life. Follow these five steps to minimize the stress and keep them growing through this period.

Veterinarian’s Corners: How to Prevent and Treat Pink Eye in Cattle

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

By Brandon Scharping, Lena Veterinary Clinic
Pink eye is a painful disease for livestock and a frustrating disease for cattle producers. Although prevention can be difficult, various preventative health and management factors can reduce the risk of pink eye in your herd.

This Makes my Life Easier: Calf Treatment Cart

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

With Gar-Lin Dairy Farm’s group calf feeders, it was difficult to find a place to treat sick calves. As a result, they designed this calf treatment cart to make it easier to move and treat sick calves.