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.

Calf chat with Ann: Keeping tabs on your pasteurizer

Posted on December 17, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager, walks us through two simple strategies to ensure your high-temp or batch pasteurizer is doing the job it is meant to do.

Comparison of growth rates achieved with milk and milk replacers

Posted on December 17, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services specialist Studying the composition of milk solids intake and calf growth helps us better understand how our feeding program decisions impact efficiency of calf growth. Growth is dependent upon calf health, environment, nutrient intake and composition of nutrients consumed. Rarely has calf growth from milk or milk replacer nutrition been compared within the same study. In this article, I used the NRC calf growth model to calculate calf grwoth across milk replacer and milk replacer programs.

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.

Expert’s corner: When maternal colostrum runs short

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager Years of research prove the immense, long-term impact high-quality colostrum has on the health and performance of calves – the future of your herd. Maternal colostrum is a high-value asset on your farm. Unfortunately, that asset often runs short this time of year as many farms see a slump in colostrum production between November and February. Farms need to have a “plan B” in place as they don’t want to short calves on this vital nutrition.

Calf care checklist: Alternative bedding options

Posted on December 16, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist Farmers and calf raisers generally have a very strong understanding of the pros and cons of wehat straw, sawdust, wood shavings and sand as bedding sources because they are so prevalent. However, several alternative bedding materials may be available in your area and their pros and cons are often not as well known. The goal of this article is to highlight some of these alternative bedding materials and outline the pros and cons of each.

Set autofeeders to match your calf-feeding goals

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager All the settings of an autofeeder work together and one change can affect the others.  Program the machine so that milk volume, minimum and maximum limitations, and concentration match your calf-feeding strategy. When deciding on a feeding plan, think about when these calves will enter the feeder

VIDEO: Calf chat with Noah – Uncommon cause of loose manure

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Noah Litherland, dairy technical services specialist, shares his recent experience of working with a herd veterinarian to identify an uncommon cause of loose manure.  Visit our YouTube channel for more editions of Calf Chat.

Virtual farm tour: Pebble Knolls Dairy LLC

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Pebble Knolls Dairy LLC in Brandon, Wisconsin, is owned and operated by Eric and Danielle Wetzel and Eric’s parents, Richard and Gail Wetzel.  Eric and Danielle’s daughter, Karsyn, began working as the farm’s calf manager three years ago.  As she learns the ins and outs of raising healthy calves, Karsyn continues the farm’s decade-long tradition of mob-feeding calves in group pens.

Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 colostrum replacers: High-value tools for newborn calf care

Posted on October 8, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Vita Plus SerPass 150 and SerPass 200 premium calf colostrum replacers fully mix in less than 30 seconds and conveniently deliver more immunoglobulins per dollar in a single 2-quart feeding. To learn more, contact your Vita Plus consultant or dealer consultant, check our our product brochure, or call 800.362.8334.

This makes my life easier: Colostrum organization

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
The team at Keeler Dairy in McBride, Michigan, tests all maternal colostrum and stores it in a chest freezer according to its quality score.  This ensures that the youngest calves receive the highest-quality colostrum.  Lower-quality colostrum is reserved for second and third feedings.

Calf care checklist: 3 steps for good water hygiene

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Everyone knows water is one of six essential nutrients.  However, the magnitude of its importance is often unrealized and, in some situations, downplayed.

Veterinarian’s corner: Farms need to consider more than ‘just dip the navel’

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
We all know we need to dip calf navels - it is something that farmers, veterinarians and consultants all tend to agree upon. However, did you know that 5% to 20% of calves in the U.S. develop navel infections and 1.6% of calf deaths can be attributed to navel disease?  That indicates we need to do better than telling employees to “just dip the navel.”

MIdwest beef market snapshot

Posted on October 6, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
It has been a tough year for many farmers in the Upper Midwest. We have seen areas of extreme drought (especially here in Minnesota), severe weather that has damaged crops and other crop health issues. As a result, our markets are still going through their ups and downs.

Virtual farm tour: Redetzkes’ No Joke Dairy, LLC

Posted on July 23, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

It’s not often that farmers completely start over on the same farm where they grew up, but that’s exactly what brothers Sam and Matt Redetzke are doing at Redetzkes’ No Joke Dairy, LLC in Stratford, Wisconsin.  In 2015, Sam and Matt decided they wanted to start milking on their family farm.  Today, they milk 190 cows and about 75% of the herd is Jerseys.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Lucas – Cool dry cows

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
 In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell explains how heat stress on the dry cow impacts the future growth and performance of her calf. Visit our YouTube channel for more segments of Calf Chat.