8 action items to reduce summer calf stressors

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, dairy technical services specialist
Heat stress can have significant impacts on dairy calf health and growth.  Here are eight action items to reduce the negative impacts of summer heat.

Team culture: The greatest competitive advantage

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By John Tramburg, Vita Plus vice president operations
How you practice defines how you play.  How you feel defines how you perform.  Culture can be described as the feeling we have about different aspects of our lives. How does culture affect a business?  Significantly.

Veterinarian’s corner: Dissecting a necropsy lab report

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
After a necropsy is completed at the farm, the veterinarian will prepare any samples and submit them to an accredited diagnostic laboratory.  The samples will be examined by a staff pathologist over the next several weeks. Here's an explanation of what you'll find on the lab report.

Calf care checklist: Identifying dehydration

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products manager
The earlier the better when it comes to catching dehydration in calves.  Identifying mild dehydration and fixing the problem in the early stages will save you a lot of headaches in the coming days.  Here are common signs of dehydration at different levels of severity.

This makes my life easier: Starter grain feeding log

Posted on July 22, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Hickory Lawn Dairy in Cascade, Wisconsin, developed a technique to track starter grain intake simply and effectively by placing a piece of tape on the door of each calf hutch.  As starter grain intake increases, the calf manager circles the number of cups the calf should be fed daily. 

Virtual Farm Tour: Kuehl Family Farms

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

Like many students across the U.S., Nathan and Anthony Kuehl were thrust into the world of virtual learning in the spring of 2020 as COVID-19 closed in-person classrooms.  The boys chose to make lemonade from the sour situation and seized an opportunity to develop their farming and entrepreneurship skills.

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.

Dairy Calf Neonatal Programming Opportunities with Methionine

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

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
Neonatal programming is the effect of maternal nutrition, environment, physiology and stress on the calf during gestation.  Performance in early life is largely impacted by the management and nutrition decisions made during the first hours and weeks of life.  An opportunity exists to modify the performance of calves before birth. 

The Importance of Continuous Employee Development

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

By Scott Schwefel, Discover Yourself, Inc. CEO, CSP
Imagine going to the hospital and learning that the doctors hadn’t received any training since their first day on the job - would you stay?  Continual employee training to stay up to date in job skills, new technology and new processes is absolutely vital for every business. 

Veterinarian’s Corner: View the Unseen with a Necropsy

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

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
There are times when treatment does not seem to work, indicating treatment failure.  This may be due to medication resistance or the disease we thought we were treating was different than anticipated. Necropsy can assist in identifying the cause of death, but it is not utilized as often as it should be.

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. 

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Lucas – Spring Calf Care Checklist

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell provides his spring calf care checklist to help calf raisers prepare equipment and facilities for the upcoming change in seasons.

How to Introduce Forages to Youngstock

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

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
It's a two-step process to introduce forages to calves. First, we need to "turn" them into ruminants, then we need to let them be ruminants. Forages may play a role in the first part, and they certainly play a role in the second part.

G.O.A.L.-Driven Team Meetings

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

By Nellie Mitchell, Granular group customer success manager
If you have ever participated in an unsuccessful team meeting, then you may want to try the G.O.A.L. method to help run an efficient team meeting.