Virtual Farm Tour: Felten Farms

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Felten Farms in St. Cloud, Wisconsin, milks about 400 cows and raises all its heifers onsite with mostly family labor. Eric Felten takes the lead on calf feeding and care. He said he began exploring ways to improve calf management a couple of years ago to increase the efficiency and performance in this area of the farm.

VIDEO: Calf chat with Lucas – 3 critical components of fly control

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell shares the three critical components of an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to reduce flies - and the stress and disease they can cause - in your youngstock operation.

Expert’s corner: Mitigating heat stress in youngstock

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Bethany Dado-Senn | The latest concern and next frontier for dairy cattle environmental management is the mitigation of heat stress in youngstock. This has been particularly apparent the past few weeks as most of the Midwest has seen multiple heat waves. If you’re looking to provide heat stress abatement to your calves or heifers, here are a few options you might consider.

Prevent the challenging heifer cycle (part 2)

Posted on July 27, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Noah Litherland | A challenging heifer cycle occurs when a portion of the heifer development phase does not go as planned and results in heifers that have lower-than-expected rates of growth, lung consolidation, or increased rate of non-completion of first lactation. The net result is often a reduced return on investment from the heifer program. This article, the second in a two-part series, discuss the impacts of management, labor and facilities.

Virtual farm tour: Loehr Farms, LLC

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Loehr Farms, LLC in Eden, Wisconsin, is a sixth-generation dairy farm.  After a herd expansion, the Loehr family built a new calf barn with an autofeeder.  Herdsman Ryan Loehr said the autofeeder allows him to spend more time with the calves that need it.

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.

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.

Special edition virtual farm tour: Drumlin Dairy LLC

Posted on December 17, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
For this special edition virtual farm tour, we visit a commercial dairy goat farm to compare and contrast management of dairy goats with that of calves and heifers.

Learning from the swine industry: Starting nursery piglets

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
We can often gain helpful knowledge, awareness and practical tips when we look outside of our day-to-day activities. Pat Bane was named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2018. In this article, he shares his insights for successfully raising nursery piglets. By Pat Bane, Bane Family Pork co-owner and manager There is not a more stressful time in a pig’s life than the days following weaning. Anything we can do to lessen that stress is a benefit to the animal.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – Barn-building Questions

Posted on June 3, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Are you considering remodeling or building new calf facilities? In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins provides initial questions to consider as you decide what facilities best fit your operation.

Calf Care Checklist: Calf Barn Ventilation

Posted on June 3, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products manager
The key to a good calf barn ventilation audit is to evaluate the air quality in many different scenarios. Weather can change the calf environment quickly. Monitoring air should be part of your daily checklist.

This Makes My Life Easier: Newborn Calf Warming Room

Posted on June 3, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

This past winter, the team at Jauquet's Hillview Dairy LLC in Luxemburg, Wisconsin, completed an addition on its cross-ventilated barn.  The addition, which is next to the maternity pens, includes two heated newborn calf warming rooms.

Virtual Farm Tour: Shiloh Dairy LLC

Posted on March 3, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Transition to the next generation can bring about a lot of change and disruption to a farm’s day-to-day operations. However, the Speirs family of Shiloh Dairy LLC in Brillion, Wisconsin, has made it a smooth process by focusing on consistent animal care and continual improvement. 

Calf Care Checklist: 8 Key Features of Newborn Calf Pens

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

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Calf care during the first 24 hours after birth has a significant impact on calf performance during the nursery phase and beyond. Make sure you also provide calf pens with these eight key attributes to give your calves the start they need.

Virtual Farm Tour: Gar-Lin Dairy LLC

Posted on January 28, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Dana Allen-Tully, partner and dairy operations manager at Gar-Lin Dairy LLC in Eyota, Minnesota, was looking to design new calf facilities. She recognized the workforce was changing and wanted facilities that provided a nice work environment for employees that also allowed for workflow efficiency. Autofeeders seemed like the right fit and construction on a new barn was completed in October 2016.