Ask the Expert: Preventing Infections

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Owen Mickley, DVM, works as a dairy specialist in eastern Ohio. Prior to joining Vita Plus, Mickley served as a practicing veterinarian in New York and Ohio for three years. Q: Lately I have noticed an increase of navel infections, ear tag infections and joint swelling on our farm and this seems to happen

Measuring Colostrum Quality

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Failure of passive transfer is one of the biggest factors affecting calf health and mortality. Not only is it important to make sure your calves are getting colostrum in a timely manner, but it is also important that the colostrum you are feeding is of the highest quality. How do you evaluate colostrum quality? Several

Feeding Colostrum by Bottle or Esophageal Feeder: Does it Matter?

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Colostrum management is of critical importance for maximizing calf health. Multiple factors influence passive transfer of immunity from colostrum, including quality, quantity, quickness and cleanliness. Current recommendations call for the first colostrum feeding to be delivered within four hours of birth. It’s normally fed via nipple bottle and/or esophageal feeder. The most recent NAHMS (2007)

First Colostrum, Then Vaccinations

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Today’s calf raisers have many vaccine options to give their calves a healthy start. However, those vaccines should never outrank high quality colostrum in priority. That’s according to Dr. Chris Chase with South Dakota State University. In his presentation during the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) Annual Business Conference, Chase explained the development of

Three Basic Principles Guide Excellent Calf Care

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Many variables affect a calf’s health and performance. However, calf expert Dr. Sheila McGuirk, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, said three main categories can really guide how calf raisers provide top notch care to their calves. During her presentation at the Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference, McGuirk told producers to think of

Ask the Expert: Colostrum Replacers Versus Supplements

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Ann Hoskins works with calf raisers through the Midwest in her role as Vita Plus calf products coordinator. What is the difference between a colostrum replacer and a colostrum supplement? When should I be using a colostrum replacer? Colostrum replacers and colostrum supplements are often confused with one another. The role of a colostrum replacer

Newborn Calf Management

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Feeding Colostrum Calves are born without immunity to the various diseases they will be exposed to in the first months of life. Therefore, newborn calves rely on the ingestion of maternal colostrum to achieve passive transfer of immunity. Colostrum provides the calf with immunoglobulins (Ig), also called

Simple Tips for Colostrum Management

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Getting calves off to a good start will improve performance and result in a more productive replacement heifer back into the herd. A key component of every good start is colostrum management. Colostrum is the first milk harvested from the cow after calving and is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, fat and protein. It

Ask the Expert: Dr. Neil Michael

Posted on November 2, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Neil Michael comes to Starting Strong with nearly 30 years of experience as a veterinarian specializing in dairy.  He currently works as the Director of Dairy Initiatives for Vita Plus. Q: We have noticed a decline in colostrum quantity in late summer/early fall.  Is this common and why do we see this seasonal trend?