Veterinarian’s Corner: The Secret to Consistent Calf Performance

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

By Dr. Sara Barber and Dan Bakker, Foundation Livestock Service
The secret to a best-cost calf program is simple, repeatable systems with timely feedback to frontline staff performing the work. Every problem is the result of a broken process. Fix the process and the problem will go away – every time.

Calf Care Checklist: 8 Key Features of Newborn Calf Pens

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

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Calf care during the first 24 hours after birth has a significant impact on calf performance during the nursery phase and beyond. Make sure you also provide calf pens with these eight key attributes to give your calves the start they need.

This Makes my Life Easier: Weighing Milk Replacer

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

The key to growing healthy calves is consistency. To help feed calves more consistently, the calf team at Wilbar Dairy started weighing water and milk replacer a few years ago.

Virtual Farm Tour: Gar-Lin Dairy LLC

Posted on January 28, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Dana Allen-Tully, partner and dairy operations manager at Gar-Lin Dairy LLC in Eyota, Minnesota, was looking to design new calf facilities. She recognized the workforce was changing and wanted facilities that provided a nice work environment for employees that also allowed for workflow efficiency. Autofeeders seemed like the right fit and construction on a new barn was completed in October 2016.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Noah – Understanding a Milk Replacer Tag

Posted on January 28, 2021 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Noah Litherland discusses common milk replacer ingredients and how to read a milk replacer tag.

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.