Feeding Your Heifers in 2014 and Beyond – Dr. Laurie Winkelman, Vita Plus

Posted on December 20, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Laurie Winkelman, Vita Plus dairy nutritionist and technical services specialist It is no secret that feed costs are, by far, the largest expense on a dairy farm. In a relatively normal population of animals on a farm, about half the animals (the milking cows) are able to pay their own way, while heifers

Ask the Expert: Should I Fortify Pasteurized Milk? – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on December 20, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Q:  We pasteurize our waste milk from treated and high-somatic-cell-count cows.  I was wondering if milk replacer has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals compared to pasteurized milk.  If feeding pasteurized milk, do we need to fortify the milk with added vitamins and minerals for the

Don’t Sacrifice Cow Performance With Poor Heifer Nutrition – Floyd Sutton, Zinpro

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With Floyd Sutton, Zinpro Imagine you have a three-year-old daughter.  Up to this point, you’ve done your absolute best to provide her with a healthy diet.  You make sure she eats a balance of dairy foods, meats, fruits, vegetables and nutritious grains. Now, you’re going to switch her to a diet of donuts and candy

Ask the Expert: How Does Waste Milk Compare? – Dr. Steve Hayes, Day 1 Technology

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Steve Hayes, Day 1 Technology Q:  How does my waste milk compare to the bulk tank milk I sell when it comes to feeding calves? A:  This is a great question since so many calf raisers are using some or all waste milk to feed their calves today. One may think that waste

Regional Calf Report: Central Minnesota – Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus dairy specialist Hello from Minnesota!  Fall is a very busy time of year as the harvest comes in, fieldwork (hopefully) moves along and winter plans are set.  As we all find plenty of tasks to complete on our to-do lists, producers are still taking the time to check their current

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Pushing Up Feed For Transition Heifers

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Keeping feed in front of heifers is obviously a must to keep them growing.  Simply taking a broom and pushing up feed three to five times a day keeps feed in front of them and keeps them eating.  Visit our YouTube channel for more Calf Care Quick Tips.

Keeping Calves Cool Through the Summer Heat – Augusta Hagen

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Augusta Hagen, Vita Plus dairy nutrition and management fellow We’ve had a moderately cool summer, but we all know that has abruptly changed this last week. Hot days and humidity make for lots of uncomfortable, low-producing cows. To cope in our dairy barns, we have implemented innovative cooling systems to keep our cows comfortable,

High Plane of Nutrition: Is It Worth It For Your Calves? – Augusta Hagen

Posted on June 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Augusta Hagen, Vita Plus dairy nutrition and management fellow A top goal for dairy farmers and nutritionists is to raise healthy calves that will transition into long-term members of the milking herd. Although the goal is simple, many factors play a role in raising a healthy replacement, including the nutrition program. A majority of

Quality Starter Fuels Rumen Development – Dr. Noah Litherland, University of Minnesota

Posted on June 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With Dr. Noah Litherland, University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science dairy cattle nutritionist Research has repeatedly shown that quality calf starter plays a big role in calf performance.  Understanding the biology behind this strategy can help make the most of your feeding program. Dr. Noah Litherland is a dairy cattle nutritionist with the University

Ask the Expert: Spring – A Change of the Seasons – Dr. Jeff Acker, Veterinary Services of Wisconsin, LLC

Posted on April 10, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Jeff Acker, Veterinary Services of Wisconsin, LLC Q: As we switch from winter to summer protocols, what should be our top priorities for getting calves ready for a new season? A:  Spring is the season of the most dramatic climate changes of the year.  This past winter was rather long, but also stable

Regional Calf Report: Central Wisconsin – Doug Olsen

Posted on April 10, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Doug Olsen, Vita Plus dairy territory manager Here in central Wisconsin, I’m seeing a lot of dairies investing in new calf facilities.  Many in the area are building barns with individual pens and some are transitioning to automatic calf feeding systems with group pens.  It seems most of these autofeeder systems are going on

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

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.

J Hall – How to Raise a Healthy Replacement: A Calf Raiser’s Perspective

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Download a printable PDF Presentation J Hall has been raising calves for the past 15 years. He started his business with a few hutches and has grown to raising 5,000 calves under five months and 1,800 heifers five-months to springers. This year, he is planning to continue the expansion of his operation to accommodate the

Dr. David Carlson – Calf Nutrition: What’s New?

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Download a printable PDF Presentation Raising a healthy replacement heifer is a long, complicated process.  According to Dr. David Carlson, technical services with Milk Products LLC, calf growth is influenced by many factors, including genetics, environment, health and nutrition.  Understanding how all the factors work together can have a big impact on the management decisions

NEW: Regional Calf Report – Central Wisconsin

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Eliza Ruzic, Vita Plus Loyal Dairy Specialist Mother Nature has taken us on a rollercoaster ride in Central Wisconsin this spring, with the warmest March on record and below-average temperatures in April. The swings in weather have kept calf and heifer raisers on their toes to make sure their calves are healthy and growing.