Biosecurity: Is your farm protected? – Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus

Posted on June 28, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Brittany Olson, contributing writer
With many dairies feeling the effects of Salmonella and pressure from consumers to reduce antibiotic use, biosecurity is currently a hot topic in animal agriculture.  Rowntree explained what you can do to ensure the safety of your production.

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.

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

Posted on April 25, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

With Sara Schilling, Schilling Farms LLC
Sara Schilling of Schilling Farms LLC walks us through her calving pen and the stringent calving procedures her team follows to give each calf the best start to life.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Coccidiosis – Prevention is the Best Medicine

Posted on April 25, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
Small and undergrown heifers with loose stool and a rough, dry hair coat are clinical signs of coccidiosis.  Left untreated, this parasitic infection can limit your future herd's potential.

7 Signs Calves are Headed Down a Bad Path

Posted on April 25, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
Many calves show signs of sickness before it becomes clinical.  Here are 7 signs to look for when evaluating calf health.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Effectively Address Respiratory Challenges

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
Respiratory disease in calves is a common issue dairy farms encounter.  The key is to identify respiratory challenges quickly and address the areas needing improvement.

Factors Altering Abomasal Emptying Rate

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock specialist
By understanding a calf's plumbing, specifically the abomasum, we can design feeding and management programs that fit the calf's abilities to digest milk, grow, and decrease opportunities for pathogens. 

Calf Care Checklist: Benchmark Calf and Heifer Health

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus dairy calf and heifer specialist
Setting goals in specific areas for your farm's calf and heifer health, and regularly comparing health events to those goals, can help determine if they are being met.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – 7 Winter Newborn Calf Tips

Posted on December 27, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

With Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
Cold temperatures are especially tough on newborn calves. In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator, provides seven tips to give newborn calves the best start possible.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Adding onto the Calf Barn

Posted on December 27, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

With Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy
Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy, shares some of the features of his recently completed calf barn addition as well as some of the challenges he encountered through the process.  Thank you to Jonathon for sharing his farm and calf raising strategies with us throughout 2017. 

Veterinarian’s Corner: Impact of Waste Milk Quality on Calf Health and Performance

Posted on December 27, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jeremy Schefers, University of Minnesota, and Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Quality and hygiene are important considerations when feeding waste milk to nursery calves.  Benefits of on-farm pasteurization include reduced diarrhea and respiratory disease.  Proper pasteurization also kills Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (responsible for Johne’s disease), Salmonella and Mycoplasma, if present in milk. 

Nutritional Needs in Calf’s First 10 Days

Posted on December 26, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator The first days of a calf’s life set the stage for its health and performance as it grows. Day 1 Colostrum is a loaded first meal for the young calf.  Calves require fat and protein for energy and muscle development in the first days of life, as

Fast Fact: How Much Bedding Do My Calves Need?

Posted on December 26, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist Question:  How Much Bedding Do My Calves Need? Answer:  Visually evaluate feet, knees and outer thighs of calves daily.  If all three areas are clean, the goal of keeping calves clean and dry has been met. A bit more:  Clean and dry calves are a

Regional Report: Northern Michigan

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

By Charlie Kunisch, Vita Plus dairy & beef specialist
With the beginning of December came the beginning of winter in northern Michigan. Areas across the northern part of the state have seen upward of 12 inches of snow and temperatures dropping into the teens.  As producers dig out their calf hutches and thaw waterers, here are a few things to consider.

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.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Weighing Calves and Sanitation Check with Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy, and Kyle Mathews, Ag Partners Cooperative

Posted on October 25, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this segment of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy, teams up with his nutritionist, Kyle Mathews of Ag Partners Cooperative, to weigh calves and also evaluate sanitation of calf care equipment.