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.

Calf care checklist: 5 ways to manage feed shrink

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist With the current state of feed prices, every penny counts and the importance of managing feed shrink in all areas of the dairy has been magnified. Here are five ways to manage feed shrink of calf feed.

This makes my life easier: Milk replacer scale

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
"Consistency is very important to us when it comes to our calves. To make sure they get the same solids at every feeding, we weigh the milk replacer powder and water. This stand makes that job much easier." - Healther Schuld, Hasel Farms, Lake Mills, Wisconsin

Calf care checklist: Scale options for calves, heifers and cows

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, calf program manager Weighing calves is important in benchmarking and evaluating calf performance. In addition to growth rates, weighing calves can help you determine your cost of gain, which is key information for your calf nutrition and management program. Here are some examples of scales that can be used at various points in an animal's life to bechmark its growth.

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.

This makes my life easier: Starter grain feeding log

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Hickory Lawn Dairy in Cascade, Wisconsin, developed a technique to track starter grain intake simply and effectively by placing a piece of tape on the door of each calf hutch.  As starter grain intake increases, the calf manager circles the number of cups the calf should be fed daily. 

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Lucas – Spring Calf Care Checklist

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell provides his spring calf care checklist to help calf raisers prepare equipment and facilities for the upcoming change in seasons.

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.

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.

Managing Air Quality From a Swine Perspective

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

By Dave Chamberlin, Vita Plus swine technical sales manager, and Garrett Rozeboom, Vita Plus swine technical services manager
Although we focus on animals with only one stomach, many of the practices we use to manage pigs translate across species. These are our top five rules for managing ventilation in swine barns.

This Makes my Life Easier: Iodine Cups

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

The team at Birchen Farms Inc. in Pearl City, Illinois, pre-fills condiment cups with iodine and stores the cups in buckets in the maternity area. Iodine is always ready and available when a newborn calf needs its navel dipped. The disposable cups prevent cross-contamination between calves.

Calf Care Checklist: 8 Things You Might Forget Your Autofeeder Needs

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

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
As technology delivers more and more details, it’s easy to forget all the little things along the way. Here are eight things you should check to make sure your autofeeder is functioning properly.

This Makes my Life Easier: Water Temperature Valve

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

It is critical to have water at the right temperature to clean equipment, mix milk or colostrum replacers, and feed calves. To assist with this task, Mark Buning of Buning Dairy LLC installed a water temperature valve on his water system.

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.

This Makes my Life Easier: Calf Treatment Cart

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

With Gar-Lin Dairy Farm’s group calf feeders, it was difficult to find a place to treat sick calves. As a result, they designed this calf treatment cart to make it easier to move and treat sick calves.