Calf chat with Ann (video): What affects passive transfer?

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager, discusses the factors that affect passive transfer beyond how much IgG is fed to the calf.

Protect the gut to protect the lungs

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services Respiratory disease is one of the primary challenges to successful heifer calf development. Maintaining intestinal integrity (protecting the gut) appears to be one path to protecting the lungs and decreasing respiratory disease risk. Thus, one goal of calf nutrition is to maintain intestinal integrity.

Calf chat with Ann: Keeping tabs on your pasteurizer

Posted on December 17, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager, walks us through two simple strategies to ensure your high-temp or batch pasteurizer is doing the job it is meant to do.

Expert’s corner: When maternal colostrum runs short

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager Years of research prove the immense, long-term impact high-quality colostrum has on the health and performance of calves – the future of your herd. Maternal colostrum is a high-value asset on your farm. Unfortunately, that asset often runs short this time of year as many farms see a slump in colostrum production between November and February. Farms need to have a “plan B” in place as they don’t want to short calves on this vital nutrition.

Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 colostrum replacers: High-value tools for newborn calf care

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 premium calf colostrum replacers fully mix in less than 30 seconds and conveniently deliver more immunoglobulins per dollar in a single 2-quart feeding. To learn more, contact your Vita Plus consultant or dealer consultant, check our our product brochure, or call 800.362.8334.

This makes my life easier: Colostrum organization

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
The team at Keeler Dairy in McBride, Michigan, tests all maternal colostrum and stores it in a chest freezer according to its quality score.  This ensures that the youngest calves receive the highest-quality colostrum.  Lower-quality colostrum is reserved for second and third feedings.

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.

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.

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?”

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – When Colostrum Runs Short

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins discusses colostrum slumps and what calf raisers can do when enough quality colostrum isn't readily available.

5 Steps to Check if Your Pasteurizer is Doing the Job it Needs to Do

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

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
When a pasteurizer is working properly, it will destroy 98% to 99% of bacteria. Follow these five steps to make sure your pasteurizer is doing the job you need it to do.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – Mixing Colostrum Replacer

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins demonstrates how to properly mix colostrum replacer and introduces the new Vita Plus SerPass 150 and 200 colostrum replacers.

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. 

Veterinarian’s Corner: Colostrum Hygiene

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

By Dr. Kevin Ratka, Vita Plus dairy specialist
When it comes to colostrum quality, it is not only the amount of antibodies present in the colostrum that matters, but also the hygiene of the colostrum being fed. Colostrum needs to be clean to achieve healthy calves.

Build Your Own Colostrum Thawing and Heating Unit

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

Refrigerated or frozen colostrum must be carefully thawed and warmed before it is fed to a calf to preserve immunoglobulins. Producers can easily build their own colostrum thawing and heating unit to accomplish this task.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Enhancing Gut Immune Function to Prevent Calf Respiratory Disease

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

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
The past two years have both been wet years, which is often associated with an increased risk for bovine respiratory disease in cattle of all ages. Consider these strategies to improve gut health and overall immune function.