This Makes my Life Easier: Weighing Milk Replacer

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

The key to growing healthy calves is consistency. To help feed calves more consistently, the calf team at Wilbar Dairy started weighing water and milk replacer a few years ago.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Noah – Understanding a Milk Replacer Tag

Posted on January 28, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Noah Litherland discusses common milk replacer ingredients and how to read a milk replacer tag.

Does Your Calf Feed Come With the Quality You Expect?

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

By Donovan Nelson, Vita Plus quality assurance and formulation specialist
Quality calf feeds can’t be made without quality ingredients and manufacturing processes. Make sure your feed manufacturer has protocols like these in place to produce the excellent calf feed your calves deserve.

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.

VIDEO: Calf Chat Roundtable – A Calf’s Holiday Wishlist

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, the Vita Plus calf team hosts a roundtable to discuss your calf's "holiday wishlist" and what they need to thrive during this time of the year.

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.

Water Temperatures to Mix and Feed Colostrum Replacers

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

Cheryl Davis from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, responded to our Vita Plus Dairy Showcase e-newsletter with this question about colostrum replacers:

“What should the temperature of the water be for the colostrum before it is fed?”

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.

Maintain Performance from Weaning to Breeding

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

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
Many calf growers do a great job tracking preweaned calf growth, however, this tends to go by the wayside after weaning. These "forgotten months" could potentially lead to some disappointing heifers when it comes time for breeding.

Virtual Farm Tour: Finger Family Farm, LLC

Posted on May 27, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

The team at Finger Family Farm, LLC in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, is focused on using practical strategies to raise strong and healthy calves, which has allowed them to raise only the heifers they need and control heifer-raising costs.

7 Considerations for Choosing a Colostrum Replacer

Posted on May 27, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Many calf colostrum replacers are available on the market. Keep these seven considerations in mind when choosing the right colostrum replacer for your program. 

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Meet Jill Houin, Homestead Dairy, LLC

Posted on March 26, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

We're pleased to introduce Jill Houin and the Homestead Dairy team in Plymouth, Indiana. Throughout 2020, Jill will share her calf program and experiences with us.

Cost of Gain: Do You Know Your Number?

Posted on March 25, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Knowing your feed cost of gain is an important consideration when selecting and evaluating a nursery calf feeding program. This cost of gain calculator can be used to estimate the cost of gain for a nursery calf program.