Optimal Facilities for Older Heifers – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on December 22, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Designing animal facilities can be challenging no matter the age of the animal. Here are a few key areas to focus on and suggestions to keep in mind as you design your facilities. Ventilation Ventilation can make or break the system quickly for animals of any age.

Designing the First Heifer TMR – Cody Yanzick, Vita Plus

Posted on December 22, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Cody Yanzick, Vita Plus dairy specialist Calf raisers focus a lot on optimizing calf diets, but a solid heifer nutrition program is equally important.  Good feed management for weaned calves can keep that momentum going as heifers get older. Ingredient selection I like to incorporate some grass/alfalfa hay into the calf TMR as it

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

Boosting Baby Calf Care in the Winter

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Last winter taught us many things and hopefully some of those lessons will make us better calf raisers. What can you do to protect those newborn calves? Quickly drying the newborn calf is so important.  Remove the calf from the maternity area in a clean cart or

Calf Diarrhea Giving You the Runaround? – Dr. Emily Schier, Lena Veterinary Clinic

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Emily Schier, Lena Veterinary Clinic When you look out into your calf pens, do you feel like you are just running into problems? Does it feel like everything is jetting out of control?  Can you just see the money hemorrhaging out of your pockets? Well, it could be that your scouring problems are

Dr. Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin-Madison – What’s All the Fuss About Positive Pressure Tubes in Calf Barns?

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Article written by Macy Sarbacker Positive pressure tube ventilation systems are becoming more and more common, according to Dr. Ken Nordlund with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Tubes are primarily used to supplement natural ventilation in nursing calf barns. “Unlike most ventilation systems, tube systems can be used to put air exactly

Calf Care Quick Tip: Keep Your Panels From Freezing

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Are you struggling to keep your calf panels from freezing to the ground this winter?  Take a tire from your forage pile and place it beneath the front of the calf panel.  It will help keep the panel above the snow and make it easier to move.  Once in a while, as you pass by

Regional Calf Report: Southwest Minnesota – Kevin Caspersen, Vita Plus

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Kevin Caspersen, Vita Plus dairy specialist As we all know, this winter has been a tough one on people, calves and heifers in the I-29 corridor.  The memorable winter continues with the mercury dipping to zero or below 44 times this winter so far - the most since the winter of 1981-82, according to

Regional Calf Report: Central Minnesota – Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus

Posted on October 27, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Kate McAndrews, Vita Plus dairy specialist Hello from Minnesota!  Fall is a very busy time of year as the harvest comes in, fieldwork (hopefully) moves along and winter plans are set.  As we all find plenty of tasks to complete on our to-do lists, producers are still taking the time to check their current

Keeping Calves Cool Through the Summer Heat – Augusta Hagen

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Augusta Hagen, Vita Plus dairy nutrition and management fellow We’ve had a moderately cool summer, but we all know that has abruptly changed this last week. Hot days and humidity make for lots of uncomfortable, low-producing cows. To cope in our dairy barns, we have implemented innovative cooling systems to keep our cows comfortable,

Ask the Expert: Managing Maternity Pens – Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic

Posted on August 29, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic Q:  As I look at my calf rearing program, I feel like our maternity area may be the weakest link. We really start to see more newborn calf issues as we near the end of the summer. Do you have advice on ways to improve our maternity area?

Regional Calf Report – Northwest Illinois – Richard Mensendike

Posted on June 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Richard Mensendike, Vita Plus Lanark dairy specialist Now that summer has finally arrived here in northwest Illinois, we’re focusing on a lot of the basic management protocols we need to follow to keep calves healthy in hot weather. Fly control seems to be the top issue on most calf raisers’ minds.  This trend started

Clean Calf Hutches: Not Just a Spring Cleaning Project – Brian Wesemann, Calf-Tel

Posted on April 10, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Many calf raisers are in a spring cleaning mode as they look toward the summer months.  But keeping calf hutches clean should be a year-round priority. Brian Wesemann is the director of sales for Calf-Tel, a manufacturer of calf pens, hutches and group-housing systems.  He says calf raisers should really think of the calf hutch

Ask the Expert: Roof Over Hutches – Dr. Becky Brotzman, UW-Madison

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Becky Brotzman, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine associate outreach specialist Q:  We are considering building a roof over our hutches to keep the area in front of them dry during periods of rain and snow.  Would you recommend this?  A:  Calf hutches are currently the “gold standard” for successful, individual

Calf Care Quick Tip: Moving Hutch Panels for Snow Removal

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
 Shoveling out calf hutches after a big snow storm is never fun.  Here's how you can speed up the snow removal process.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Storing Calf Supplies

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Basic sanitation practices go a long way in helping you limit the disease pressure calves experience. When it comes to storing calf supplies, follow these simple guidelines and you'll be on your way to a clean, healthy environment for your calves: Make it easy: All of your supplies should be easy to reach and easy