Vaccination Not a Substitution for Good Management

Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Vaccinations can play a valuable role in ensuring calf health in any season. That said, they should never be used as a way to overcome poor management. That’s according to Dr. Chris Chase with the South Dakota State Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department. “In general, vaccination is used too much and too often,” Chase said.

Video: Calf Care Quick Tip – Knee Test for Bedding

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With this Starting Strong Quick Tip, we recap the steps for good bedding in the winter months.

Keeping Birds Out Can Help Control Feed Costs

Posted on November 8, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
With the high cost of feed these days, it is the largest expense in raising dairy heifers. One way to control feed costs is to manage shrink. Shrink is defined as the amount of feed delivered or grown on a farm that is never consumed. Experts estimate that shrink may account for 5 to 30

Three Basic Principles Guide Excellent Calf Care

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Many variables affect a calf’s health and performance. However, calf expert Dr. Sheila McGuirk, DVM, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, said three main categories can really guide how calf raisers provide top notch care to their calves. During her presentation at the Dairy Calf and Heifer Conference, McGuirk told producers to think of

Ask the Expert: Maternity Facilities

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Neil Michael comes to Starting Strong with nearly 30 years of experience as a veterinarian specializing in dairy. He currently works as the Director of Dairy Initiatives for Vita Plus. Q:  What makes the ideal maternity facility? A:  Prior to birth, calves are well protected inside the uterus from bacterial, physical and temperature changes.

Choose the Best Bedding for Your Calves Year-round

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Just like you put on multiple layers of clothing before you head outside in the winter, your calves also need a good way to “bundle up” when it gets cold. What’s more, their “winter outfits” need to be dry and clean to prevent respiratory disease. Here are some quick tips to follow when bedding hutches

Newborn Calf Management

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Feeding Colostrum Calves are born without immunity to the various diseases they will be exposed to in the first months of life. Therefore, newborn calves rely on the ingestion of maternal colostrum to achieve passive transfer of immunity. Colostrum provides the calf with immunoglobulins (Ig), also called

Preparing for Spring – Going Back to Basics

Posted on November 3, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
From Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator When winter tosses us a new challenge everyday, it can become difficult just taking care of the basic needs. However, spring can bring its own set of challenges to calf raisers. The warm days, cool nights and lots of moisture in the air can prove to be

Is Your Calf’s Wardrobe Ready For Summer?

Posted on November 2, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
From Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Providing an excellent housing environment is key to successfully raising healthy calves. Research has shown calves spend 73 to 81 percent of their time lying down in daylight hours and almost 100 percent at night if not disturbed. This makes the resting surface and space crucial to

Ask the Expert: Dr. Neil Michael

Posted on November 2, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Dr. Neil Michael comes to Starting Strong with nearly 30 years of experience as a veterinarian specializing in dairy.  He currently works as the Director of Dairy Initiatives for Vita Plus. Q1: Should I test calves for BVD PI status? BVD remains one of the most costly diseases in the U.S. cattle industry and is

Guard Calves Against Respiratory Disease

Posted on November 2, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
From Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Respiratory disease is a leading cause of mortality in calves under six months of age. In addition to death loss, respiratory disease causes other economic losses, such as high treatment costs, reduced growth rate, delayed calving and increased culling. Respiratory disease is an infection caused by inflammation