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.

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: 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.

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

Posted on November 23, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin discusses the Homestead Dairy, LLC maternity protocols and how they give the calves a successful start to life.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Summer Bedding and Fly Control

Posted on August 24, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

With Sara Schilling of Schilling Farms LLC
In this segment of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Sara Schilling, Schilling Farms LLC, shares her summer bedding protocols as well as what products she uses for fly control. 

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.

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

Ask the Expert: What’s the Best Bedding? – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on December 21, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Question:  What material makes for the best bedding for my calves? Answer:   We have many options for bedding calves. The easiest choice is what you have available, but that might not always be the best choice.  Consider your entire setup and how the details affect your options.

Ask the Expert: Managing Maternity Pens – Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic Q:  As I look at my calf rearing program, I feel like our maternity area may be the weakest link. We really start to see more newborn calf issues as we near the end of the summer. Do you have advice on ways to improve our maternity area?

Are Your Calves Feeling the Heat of Summer? – Ann Hoskins

Posted on June 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator When heat stress hits on the farm, we often look to the cows first.  But did you know that heat stress can hit calves as hard as all the other animals on the farm? Heat-stressed calves may have reduced average daily gains or increased incidence of treatments. 

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Knee Test for Bedding

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Deep bedding is essential for baby calves to nest and conserve energy.  Dry bedding is equally important for good respiratory health.  Spending 30 seconds to do the knee test can help you make sure bedding is adequate.

It’s Still Winter – Ann Hoskins

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator This winter has thrown us many challenges: a lot of snow, rain, huge temperature swings, cold stretches, and on and on. It is easy to think with the recent warmer temperatures we are getting close to the end. Even so, I challenge you to stay the course

Guarding Calves Against Respiratory Disease – Ann Hoskins

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Respiratory disease is the second leading cause of mortality in calves under six months of age. In addition to death loss, respiratory disease negatively impacts other economic factors, including high treatment costs, reduced growth rate, delayed calving and increased culling. Symptoms often include a temperature higher than

Gear Up Your Calves For Winter

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, calf products coordinator As we talked about in Calf Chat, it’s time to get out your winter gear and re-establish your winter protocols. Although we’re a few weeks away from implementing all of the winter protocols, temperatures are dropping fast and it’s better to be ready than scramble at the last minute.

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Knee Test for Bedding

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With this Starting Strong Quick Tip, we recap the steps for good bedding in the winter months.

Choose the Best Bedding for Your Calves Year-round

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Just like you put on multiple layers of clothing before you head outside in the winter, your calves also need a good way to “bundle up” when it gets cold. What’s more, their “winter outfits” need to be dry and clean to prevent respiratory disease. Here are some quick tips to follow when bedding hutches