Veterinarian’s Corner: Coccidiosis – Prevention is the Best Medicine

Posted on April 25, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Jenn Rowntree, Vita Plus calf and heifer specialist
Small and undergrown heifers with loose stool and a rough, dry hair coat are clinical signs of coccidiosis.  Left untreated, this parasitic infection can limit your future herd's potential.

Veterinarian’s Corner: Effectively Address Respiratory Challenges

Posted on February 19, 2018 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, S.C.
Respiratory disease in calves is a common issue dairy farms encounter.  The key is to identify respiratory challenges quickly and address the areas needing improvement.

Calf Care Checklist: Storing and Mixing Milk Replacer

Posted on December 26, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
To properly store milk replacer, (1) keep milk replacer in a clean, dry area.  (2) In mixing areas, keep milk replacer in a clean tote or covered container.  (3) If milk replacer is kept in the bag, roll down the bag after each use.

VIDEO: A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser – Weighing Calves and Sanitation Check with Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy, and Kyle Mathews, Ag Partners Cooperative

Posted on October 25, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

In this segment of A Day in the Life of a Calf Raiser, Jonathon Hallock, MarBec Dairy, teams up with his nutritionist, Kyle Mathews of Ag Partners Cooperative, to weigh calves and also evaluate sanitation of calf care equipment.

Regional Report: Minnesota – Greg Wiener, Vita Plus

Posted on October 25, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Greg Wiener, Vita Plus dairy specialist
This fall's terrible swings in weather have led to many challenges in calves less than two weeks old, and most of those challenges revolve around cleanliness.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Sanitizing with Foamers – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on April 20, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator
It is not advisable to pressure wash or aerosolize water in calf areas.  Pathogens can easily travel with the mist that pressure washing creates.  Using a foamer is a great alternative.

Regional Calf Report: Ohio – Kayla Oxendale, Vita Plus

Posted on February 23, 2017 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Kayla Oxendale, Vita Plus dairy specialist
As we embark on 2017, we find our industry under new regulations that influence the decision-making and day-to-day operations on many farms.  The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) requires additional traceability to use some common medications.

Focus on Dairy Heifer Air Quality – Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist
Fresh air is something we sometimes take for granted out in the country.  We give considerable thought and effort to making sure our milk replacer program is right or our pasteurizer is working correctly, but perhaps we should think more about the quality of air in our calf and heifer facilities. 

Calf Care Quick Tip: Clean Waterers in 7 Easy Steps

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

Waterers and the surrounding areas are great places for pathogens to thrive because they are almost always warm and moist. The team at Minglewood Inc. in Deer Park, Wisconsin has mastered the chore of cleaning calf pen waterers.  Although these waterers are in the farm’s autofeeder calf pens, the same steps can be applied to most heifer group pens.

Is My On-farm Milk Pasteurizer Working? – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on April 28, 2016 in Starting Strong - Calf Care

By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist
So let’s start out with a trivia question:  What primary test does a milk plant, such as a cheese factory, use to monitor the efficacy of milk pasteurization?  

Answer: Alkaline phosphatase activity

Video: Feeding Calves in Autofeeder Systems – Cleaning and Maintenance (Part 2)

Posted on August 27, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
In this video, Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator, reminds us that cleanliness is key to raising healthy calves in any system.  She shares tips for cleaning automatic calf feeders and identifying potential hot spots for bacterial growth. Click here for Part 1 in this video series and stay tuned for a future video

Mix MIlk Right to Maximize Nutrition – Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Noah Litherland, Vita Plus dairy youngstock technical specialist The summer months have no shortage of activities and projects on the farm, which makes it easy to forget the details as we rush from one task to the next. However, what seem like minor details can have major impacts on calf performance.  These include

ATP Readings: Dirty Jobs on Your Farm – Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic

Posted on June 25, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic When dealing with calf health issues, it is common to investigate whether the calf was handled properly in the first few hours of life. This includes moving the calf to a clean dry place within one hour of birth, dipping the navel, feeding clean, high quality colostrum in

Ask the Expert: What Makes a Good Soap? – Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus

Posted on April 28, 2015 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Question:  Cleanliness in our calf area is a top priority on our farm.  So many cleaning and disinfecting products are available, how do I know which are best for eliminating pathogens?  A:  Detergents and disinfectants should be selected based on the job they must perform. Their effectiveness

Calf Diarrhea Giving You the Runaround? – Dr. Emily Schier, Lena Veterinary Clinic

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Dr. Emily Schier, Lena Veterinary Clinic When you look out into your calf pens, do you feel like you are just running into problems? Does it feel like everything is jetting out of control?  Can you just see the money hemorrhaging out of your pockets? Well, it could be that your scouring problems are

Dr. Rob Farruggio, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic – The Invisible Threat: It’s a Meance to the Dairy

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Click to download the PowerPoint presentation Article written by Macy Sarbacker Calf raisers can easily pick out major disease threats in their herds, according to Dr. Rob Farruggio of Jefferson Veterinary Clinic in Jefferson, Wisconsin. These known threats include the bacterial and viral causes of both scours and pneumonia. The long-term impact of scours means