VIDEO: Calf chat with Lucas – 3 critical components of fly control

Posted on July 28, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Lucas Mitchell shares the three critical components of an integrated pest management (IPM) plan to reduce flies - and the stress and disease they can cause - in your youngstock operation.

Calf chat with Ann (video): What affects passive transfer?

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this edition, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager, discusses the factors that affect passive transfer beyond how much IgG is fed to the calf.

Prevent the challenging heifer cycle (part 1)

Posted on April 13, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services A challenging heifer cycle occurs when a portion of the heifer development phase does not go as planned and results in heifers that have lower-than-expected rates of growth, lung consolidation, or increased rate of non-completion of first lactation.  The net result is often a reduced return on investment from the heifer program.

Protect the gut to protect the lungs

Posted on February 10, 2022 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy technical services Respiratory disease is one of the primary challenges to successful heifer calf development. Maintaining intestinal integrity (protecting the gut) appears to be one path to protecting the lungs and decreasing respiratory disease risk. Thus, one goal of calf nutrition is to maintain intestinal integrity.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Summer Calf Management Protocols

Posted on July 28, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jill Houin walks through Homestead Dairy's summer calf management protocols and how the farm combats heat stress.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Infected Joints and Maternity Management Shortfalls

Posted on March 25, 2020 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Alta Genetics associate veterinarian
Failure to provide a clean, well-managed maternity area can lead to calves ingesting manure laden with E. coli, which can then travel to and infect the bloodstream. This is can lead to infection in one or multiple joints.

VIDEO: Calf Chat with Jenn – Biosecurity and the Maternity Pen

Posted on May 21, 2019 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this edition of Calf Chat, Dr. Jenn Rowntree walks us through the importance of biosecurity protocols within the maternity pen to give calves the best start to life.

Calf Care Checklist: 7 Supplies to Stock in Your Maternity Area – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on March 18, 2019 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
Keeping a well-stocked maternity pen with these 7 must-have items can help give calves a successful start to life.

11 Calf Care Resolutions to Keep This Year – Vita Plus Calf Team

Posted on January 17, 2019 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By the Vita Plus Calf Team
A new year is the perfect time to review calf care protocols and set goals for what you can do better in the year ahead.  Here are 11 calf care resolutions you should keep this year to help raise healthy calves.