Does Your Calf Feed Come With the Quality You Expect?

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Donovan Nelson, Vita Plus quality assurance and formulation specialist
Quality calf feeds can’t be made without quality ingredients and manufacturing processes. Make sure your feed manufacturer has protocols like these in place to produce the excellent calf feed your calves deserve.

Managing Air Quality From a Swine Perspective

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dave Chamberlin, Vita Plus swine technical sales manager, and Garrett Rozeboom, Vita Plus swine technical services manager
Although we focus on animals with only one stomach, many of the practices we use to manage pigs translate across species. These are our top five rules for managing ventilation in swine barns.

Veterinarian’s Corner: The BVD We Face Today

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Curt Vlietstra, Boehringer Ingelheim senior professional services veterinarian
The Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) we see on farms today is different from the BVD that was first identified in the 1940s. While it may not be as obvious as it once was, timely vaccinations and good management can help protect your future herd investment.

Calf Care Checklist: 5 Ways a Calf Tells You She’s Getting the Right Amount of Milk

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Lucas Mitchell, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
The easiest way to know if we are feeding calves the proper amount of milk is by paying attention to how they perform. Look for these five indicators the next time you walk through the calf barn.

This Makes my Life Easier: Iodine Cups

Posted on January 26, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

The team at Birchen Farms Inc. in Pearl City, Illinois, pre-fills condiment cups with iodine and stores the cups in buckets in the maternity area. Iodine is always ready and available when a newborn calf needs its navel dipped. The disposable cups prevent cross-contamination between calves.

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.

VIDEO: Calf Chat Roundtable – A Calf’s Holiday Wishlist

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, the Vita Plus calf team hosts a roundtable to discuss your calf's "holiday wishlist" and what they need to thrive during this time of the year.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Maternity

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

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin discusses the Homestead Dairy, LLC maternity protocols and how they give the calves a successful start to life.

Create a Smooth Weaning Process

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Ideally, the weaning process results in minimal disruptions in nutrient supply to the calf and, in turn, accelerates grain intake.  Weaning age, starter intake at the onset of weaning, and weaning strategy are all components of a smooth transition into to the grower phase.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Late-Term Abortion Diagnostic Work-Ups

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Keith Poulsen, University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
While most of us want to know why all abortions happen, this article focuses on when you should have a diagnostic work-up done, what you can learn from them, and how you can apply it to dairy herd management.

Calf Care Checklist: 8 Things You Might Forget Your Autofeeder Needs

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
As technology delivers more and more details, it’s easy to forget all the little things along the way. Here are eight things you should check to make sure your autofeeder is functioning properly.

Water Temperatures to Mix and Feed Colostrum Replacers

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Cheryl Davis from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, responded to our Vita Plus Dairy Showcase e-newsletter with this question about colostrum replacers:

“What should the temperature of the water be for the colostrum before it is fed?”

This Makes my Life Easier: SerPass Colostrum Replacers

Posted on November 12, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Providing high-quality, clean colostrum to newborn calves may be more difficult in the late-fall and winter months as farms often see a slump in cows’ colostrum production. SerPass colostrum replacers provide a convenient, safe, and effective alternative. 

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: Calf Chat with Ann – When Colostrum Runs Short

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

In this edition of Calf Chat, Ann Hoskins discusses colostrum slumps and what calf raisers can do when enough quality colostrum isn't readily available.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – The Indy 500

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

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin reflects on her experience at the Indy 500 and discusses the tradition of a dairy farmer presenting the winner with a bottle of ice-cold milk.