Calf Care Quick Tip: Clean Waterers in 7 Easy Steps

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Waterers and the surrounding areas are great places for pathogens to thrive because they are almost always warm and moist. The team at Minglewood Inc. in Deer Park, Wisconsin has mastered the chore of cleaning calf pen waterers.  Although these waterers are in the farm’s autofeeder calf pens, the same steps can be applied to most heifer group pens.

Virtual Farm Tour: Homestead Dairy, LLC

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Homestead Dairy, LLC Takes Calves to New Levels with Autofeeders
When you drive past Homestead Dairy, LLC in Plymouth, Indiana, you’ll see a row of hutches strung along a corn field about a half-mile from the main dairy.  No, these hutches do not house any calves. Instead, just across the road from the corn field, you will find three calf barns with autofeeders that can hold 200 calves each.  In the main office, you’ll find Brian Houin, the farm manager, doing everything in his power to never use those hutches again.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Ann – Heat Stress in Calves

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Fall is approaching, but the temperatures are still high.  In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf product coordinator, discusses the simple things you can do to manage your calves through summer heat stress.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Stacy Jauquet, Jauquet’s Hillview Dairy LLC

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Stacy Jauquet of Jauquet's Hillview Dairy LLC talks about the steps her team took to give calves the best possible care after a shed fire at their farm.

Regional Calf Report: Beef Calves in Indiana – PJ Neff and Chance Meteer, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By PJ Neff, Vita Plus dairy specialist, and Chance Meteer, Vita Plus beef specialist
So far in 2016, the cattle market has seen an abundance of ups and downs. As expected, prices for both feeder cattle and finished cattle have been extremely volatile.  However, on the calf side, Holstein bull calf markets have continued to steadily decline over the last few months, which has prompted many calf raisers to fill up or remain at full capacity.

Ask the Expert: What Do I Want in My Next Mobile Phone? – Terry Seubert, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Terry Seubert, Vita Plus IT services development coordinator

Question:  What factors should I consider when picking out my next mobile phone?

Answer:  Picking a mobile phone can be nerve-racking, especially with so many different factors to consider.  Remember, good or bad, mobile phones have become part of our busy, everyday lives.  They provide a way to stay in touch with family, friends, and work, while also functioning as a camera, social networking device, music player, GPS system, and a constant connection to the Internet.  Here are a few things to consider when picking your new mobile phone.

Fast Fact: Air Exchanges in the Summer – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Question:  How many air exchanges are needed for summer barn ventilation?

Quck answer:  40 to 60 exchanges per hour

A little more on that...

VIDEO: Comfort and Fit to Successfully Feed Calves (Part 2) – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this video, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator, discusses many of the facility considerations needed to successfully feed transition calves. These animals may already be stressed due to weaning, pen moves and grouping. Make it easy for transition calves to find their feed and water and help adjust to their new environments quickly.  Click here to watch part 1 of this series, which addresses feeding considerations for preweaned calves.

TMR Evaluations of Heifer Diets – Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Jon Rasmussen, Vita Plus technology specialist
A simple way to improve your heifer growth efficiency, as well as minimize the costs of your heifer diets, is to evaluate your TMR mixer. This starts with physically inspecting the TMR mixer for proper weighing and mixing.

Beyond the Barn: How Will Your Team Do This Year? – Peter Coyne, Vita Plus

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Peter Coyne, Vita Plus sales manager and dairy field service specialist
Our high school football team had a very successful season last year and only lost one game.

Unfortunately, it was the biggest game of the year; the winner goes to state and the loser goes home. We lost by one point.

Eleven seniors were on that team and I suspect we will need to do some rebuilding this year. Fortunately, we have a great coach who understands kids as well as he understands football. As he and his assistant coaches work with our young, inexperienced team of kids from our community, they will do the same things I see the best dairy managers do on their productions on a daily basis.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Soap Where You Need It

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

This tip comes to use from Buddenberg Farms in Iowa.  Use a small piece of 9-guage wire to make a gallon jug hanger for your soap bottle.

Veterinary Feed Directives: What’s coming in 2017? – Dr. Al Schultz, Vita Plus

Posted on June 29, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Consumer concern about antibiotic resistance has pushed major food processors, distributors and retailers to restrict or eliminate antibiotic use in the production of their foods.  That same pressure has pushed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take a new approach in regulating the use of antibiotics in livestock feed.

Maximizing comfort and productivity in a hot, humid climate – Don Bennink, North Florida Holsteins

Posted on June 29, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Progressive Dairyman Editor Peggy Coffeen
In the past few decades, North Florida Holsteins has figured out how to achieve more than 90 pounds of milk per day in an environment where extreme heat stress is the norm.

Building your best team – Laura Finger, Finger Family Farm LLC, Theo Scholze, Scholze’s Family Farm LLC, and Sherry Arnold, Busse’s Barron Acres

Posted on June 29, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Progressive Dairyman Editor Peggy Coffeen
“Labor management, procuring employees … if it is not your biggest issue today, it will become one of your biggest issues,” Peter Coyne, Vita Plus dairy field service specialist, warned dairy producers at the Vita Plus Calf Summit.

Coyne moderated a panel of three Wisconsin dairy producers who shared how they creatively and successfully recruit, manage and retain a solid team of farm employees. The panel included Laura Finger, Finger Family Farm LLC; Theo Scholze, Scholze’s Family Farm LLC; and Sherry Arnold, Busse’s Barron Acres.

Are we keeping too many replacements? – Cal Greenfield, Hilltop Dairy, LLC, Lee Meinholz, Blue Star Dairy (Middleton), Dr. Greg Bethard, Pagel Family Businesses

Posted on June 29, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

For most farms, keeping every replacement heifer probably doesn’t make the most sense.  However, deciding which and how many heifers to sell is different for every farm and depends on the goals you have for your operation.  During a panel discussion at Vita Plus Calf Summit, three producers shared their strategies for the heifer program.

Heat stress pre- and post-partum and its effect on calf performance – Dr. Sha Tao, University of Georgia

Posted on June 29, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

When the summer heat rises, the best strategy on dairy farms is simple:  Keep everyone cool.

Dr. Sha Tao, assistant professor at the University of Georgia at Tipton, has taken in-depth looks at heat stress effects from a variety of angles, starting with his research at the University of Florida.