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.

Virtual Farm Tour: Birchen Farms Inc.

Posted on November 23, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Raising calves in group housing continues to gain interest among both dairy producers and researchers. The team at Birchen Farms Inc. in Pearl City, Illinois, has successfully raised calves in group housing for about 16 years. While their calf and heifer program differs from many Midwest farms, they consistently raise strong and healthy replacements for the herd.

Virtual Farm Tour: Hilltop Dairy LLC

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

When the team at Hilltop Dairy LLC in Markesan, Wisconsin, decided to build a new calf barn five years ago, they didn’t rush the process and, instead, invested a lot of time into touring and researching barns to design a facility that best fit the farm.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Summer Calf Management Protocols

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

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin walks through Homestead Dairy's summer calf management protocols and how the farm combats heat stress.

Virtual Farm Tour: Sunrise Dairy LLC

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

The calf program at Sunrise Dairy LLC in Suring, Wisconsin, has changed a lot in the 10 years Kayla Hischke has managed the youngstock program. From housing young calves in a calf barn instead of the dairy's old stone barn, to sending heifers to a Nebraskan custom raiser, the team has found ways to innovate and raise calves throughout the changes.