Keys to Healthy Nursery Calves – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on February 17, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
Getting calves off to a good start is key to long-term health and performance.

This starts in the maternity pen. It is vital that the calving area is clean, dry, provides ample space for calving, and is comfortable for the cow. For newborn calves – and their immune systems – the goal is to provide the best environment possible.  That is one that is free of manure and allows for an easy entrance into the world.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Good ‘Calf Movers’

Posted on December 21, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Click on the photos above for examples of good "calf movers." Here’s what we like to see in calf movers as you transport newborns from the maternity area to their individual pens or move older calves to other facilities: Easy to  use Doors / gates open easy and do not pinch fingers Moves easily on

Calf Calf Care Quick Tip: Don’t Waste Grain

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Wasted starter is money that could have been put to better use.  Here are a couple quick tips to reduce starter waste: Don’t overfeed starter. Young calves do not eat much and, therefore, do not need a pail full. Calves like their starter fresh, so providing smaller amounts close to their intakes will help encourage

ATP Readings: Dirty Jobs on Your Farm – Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic When dealing with calf health issues, it is common to investigate whether the calf was handled properly in the first few hours of life. This includes moving the calf to a clean dry place within one hour of birth, dipping the navel, feeding clean, high quality colostrum in

Ask the Expert: Bottle or Esophageal Tube to Feed Colostrum? – Milk Products team

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Question:  What’s the best way to feed colostrum?  By bottle or esophageal feeder? A:  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,

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Dehorning Paste

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Use of dehorning paste is increasingly popular among today's calf raisers.  Following her February edition of "A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser," Katie Grinstead of Vir-Clar Farms in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin recieved many questions about how she uses dehorning paste for her calves.  Katie walks through the simple steps in this

Calf Care Quick Tip: Get Organized

Posted on February 26, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Do you ever struggle to find “that” calf in the sea of hutches?  Do you need a place to write a note to the afternoon feeder? It is really important to organize and find animals quickly. Designing a “calf map” will help everyone on your team. Key Information to include with the map are items

Top 9 Cool Weather Calf Needs – Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus

Posted on February 26, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist As February draws to a close, we’re optimistic that warmer spring months are just around the corner.  But, realistically, we may still deal with a few more weeks of winter.  Here’s a quick reminder of the top calf needs in cool weather: Haircoat The calf’s

Pick the Best Pasteurizer – Sonia Gelsinger, Pennsylvania State University

Posted on February 26, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Sonia Gelsinger, Pennsylvania State University Ph.D. student We all know how important a balanced ration is for maintaining cow health and optimizing milk production. High quality nutrition is equally important for the calves that will eventually become part of the lactating herd. The gut of a young calf is still developing, so it requires

Calf Care Quick Tip: Testing Total Proteins with a Refractometer

Posted on October 27, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Testing total blood proteins can help you manage your colostrum program as this simple test indicates whether successful passive transfer is achieved.  Use the following steps as you test blood protein levels in your calves. Collecting the sample Use a red-top serum collection tube (no anti-coagulant added), vacutainer or 3-cc syringe with 20 g 1-inch

Calf Care Quick Tip: Best Bucket Holders

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Unless you just moved calves to new housing, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to bucket holders.  Yet, this small piece of equipment can have a big impact on your operation.  Do your holders meet the following four qualifications? A bucket holder must stay in place and hold the pails. The holder must

Dr. Steve Hayes, Day 1 Technology – Gizmos or Guesses: Evaluating Tools to Measure Calf Performance

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Click to download the PowerPoint presentation Article written by Macy Sarbacker Most calf raisers have three primary goals, according to Dr. Stephen Hayes with Day 1 Technology. These three goals are: to keep calves alive, to keep calves healthy, and to keep calves growing. Based on these goals, Hayes came up with four gizmos to

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Feeding Milk

Posted on December 20, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Do you only have one calf feeder on your farm?  Are you looking for a quick and easy way to feed pasteurized waste milk or milk replacer to your calves?  Danae Stieglitz of Stieglitz Dairy LLC has a creative strategy that just might work for you.  Visit our YouTube channel for more Calf Care Quick

Calf Care Quick Tip: Color-coding Calf Pails

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Sometimes you have a calf that needs a little less milk or just some extra attention.  When that happens, how do you keep track of her?  Here’s an easy solution: Use an alternative-colored pail for the calf while she needs the extra love. Once she is being fed like the rest or is back to

Give Your Pasteurizer a Good Once-over

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Waste milk and colostrum pasteurizers are now standard equipment on many of today’s calf operations. While feeding pasteurized waste milk and colostrum can have many benefits, it can also create a lot of problems if the units are not maintained. I often see pasteurizers work well for

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.