Maintaining Heifer Performance in Cold Stress – Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus

Posted on December 22, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Pat Hoffman, Vita Plus dairy technical specialist Winter issues of magazines and newsletters are stacking up and surely contain a number of articles in reference to feeding and managing dairy calves in winter. All of those comments are important and true; dairy calves are very sensitive to cold conditions.  Changes in feeding and management

Regional Calf Report: Eastern Wisconsin – Alex Geiser, Vita Plus

Posted on October 27, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Alex Geiser, Vita Plus dairy specialist Summer in northeast Wisconsin was cool to say the least.  I can recall only one day in which the temperatures reached 90 degrees F, which means we had minimal heat stress in the area. To contrast, we had many days when the high and low temperatures varied by

Boosting Baby Calf Care in the Winter

Posted on August 24, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator Last winter taught us many things and hopefully some of those lessons will make us better calf raisers. What can you do to protect those newborn calves? Quickly drying the newborn calf is so important.  Remove the calf from the maternity area in a clean cart or

Regional Calf Report: Western Michigan – Mark Case, Vita Plus

Posted on April 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Mark Case, Vita Plus dairy specialist Whew!  What a rough winter! Here in Michigan, we are glad that spring has finally sprung and we don’t have to worry about severe cold until next winter.  The producers in my area asked a lot of questions about how to get calves through the bitter, cold weather.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Keep Your Panels From Freezing

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Are you struggling to keep your calf panels from freezing to the ground this winter?  Take a tire from your forage pile and place it beneath the front of the calf panel.  It will help keep the panel above the snow and make it easier to move.  Once in a while, as you pass by

The Skinny on Fat – Milk Products LLC

Posted on February 28, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Milk Products LLC calf nutrition team The energy calves need is most readily available to them by the fat in their diets. The best milk replacers start with high-quality, (human) edible-grade fat sources, which are the gold standard for animal milk replacers. Research supports the use of these high-quality fats to maintain the best

It’s Still Winter – Ann Hoskins

Posted on February 26, 2013 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf products coordinator This winter has thrown us many challenges: a lot of snow, rain, huge temperature swings, cold stretches, and on and on. It is easy to think with the recent warmer temperatures we are getting close to the end. Even so, I challenge you to stay the course

Calf Care Quick Tip: Moving Hutch Panels for Snow Removal

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
 Shoveling out calf hutches after a big snow storm is never fun.  Here's how you can speed up the snow removal process.

Regional Calf Report: Western Iowa – John Brantsen

Posted on December 26, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By John Brantsen, Vita Plus dairy specialist December 2012 has brought us some extreme variation in temperatures in northwest Iowa. On December 2, we reached a high temperature of 61 degrees.  On December 10, a little more than a week later, we saw a low temperature of -2 degrees.  Four days later, we were back

Gear Up Your Calves For Winter

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, calf products coordinator As we talked about in Calf Chat, it’s time to get out your winter gear and re-establish your winter protocols. Although we’re a few weeks away from implementing all of the winter protocols, temperatures are dropping fast and it’s better to be ready than scramble at the last minute.

Calf Care Quick Tip: Raising Panels in Winter

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Raising calves in hutches in the winter can be a challenge, but a couple of simple steps can make it much easier. After a snow fall, walk through your hutches and pick up the front panel. This will keep it from freezing down and make it much easier to remove when it comes time to

Ask the Expert: Ann Hoskins – Extra Energy in the Winter

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Q:  What is the best way to get extra energy into my calves in cold weather? Environmental factors can have major effects on the energy requirement of young calves. Newborn calves are particularly vulnerable to temperature changes. The newborn calf has a thermoneutral zone that falls between 55 and 77 degrees F. This means calves

Cold Weather Feeding Options for Calves

Posted on November 5, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Environmental factors can have major effects on the energy requirement of young calves. Newborn calves are particularly vulnerable to temperature changes. The newborn calf has a thermoneutral zone that falls between 55˚F and 77˚F. Within this range of temperatures the animal is not required to dissipate or conserve heat to maintain body temperature. Therefore, when

Are Your Calves Feeling the Stress of Winter?

Posted on November 4, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus Calf Products Coordinator Winter can be very stressful for calves and this winter is no exception. Many steps can be taken to help prevent your calves from being adversely affected by the cold weather-related stress. Producers should provide additional calories to maintain growth, performance and health, as well as a

Raising Healthy Calves in Cold Weather

Posted on November 4, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
At zero degrees, a 90-pound calf eating one pound of powder or solids daily (equal to one gallon of 12.5 percent solution) can “burn up” its entire body fat reserve (about 3 to 4 percent of body weight) within 18 hours. Bring on the groceries! Calves’ energy intake is the sum of the starter and