Calfology Blog

Minimize stress at birth

 Numerous challenges occur during the first days of life: the calving process is a major risk factor, acquiring adequate immunity from colostrum during the first hours of life to reduce the risk of future disease challenges, avoiding infectious disease challenges while the immune system is still developing during the first 6 weeks of life, the stress of weaning, dehorning and vaccination all impact the health of the calf.

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Bull Calves - They can be profitable!

   There’s no  way around it, there are a lot of bull calves and the majority of them will be sent to market within the first few days of life. When dealing with bull calves farmers need to be thinking about more then just getting  the calf on the trailer and (hopefully) collecting a check. Yes - there may actually be a profit in them, and there is also a public perception to be worried about.

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The long-term impact of dystocia – it’s more than a calving pen problem.

Dystocia or difficulty during has been correlated with weakness, morbidity and mortality in dairy calves, however new research suggests dystocia may have long-term term impacts on dairy heifers, farm efficiency and calf welfare.

 

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Baby it's hot outside!

     Calves under three weeks of age have a thermal neutral zone (TNZ) between 59 to 780F. Below this zone they begin to experience cold stress, and above this zone they experience heat stress. Calves and heifers over three weeks of age begin to experience heat stress at 700F.

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Considerations for Dehorning Calves

It is well known in the agricultural realm that dehorning cattle is a management must; in the US over 94% of dairy operations dehorn heifer calves. Dehorned cattle require less bunk space, are easier and less dangerous to handle and transport.

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Group Calf Housing Systems -What are my feeding options?

Roy's last blog discussed some of the early group systems and the reason most people look at group housed & fed calves - simplicity. This blog explores the three most common feeding systems for pre-weaned calves.

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Calf Housing 101 - The Basics

“I have a brand new calf facility, did what all the experts told me but now I have more sick calves and a lower average daily gain than before. What do I do now?”

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“What’s the best way to raise my calves?”

   At a recent workshop I had numerous producers ask me this question. It was a typical winter day in the North Country, cold & windy and no one wanted to be outside for long. As producers look at expanding, and improving their current management level and reducing costs calf management is scrutinized more and more. The buzz in Northern New York, as well as across the country, this winter has been calf housing and feeding management. The winter kicked off in NY with the “Group-Housed Dairy Calf Systems” symposium December 1st.

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How clean is your colostrum?

jersey calf

A recent article on dairyherd.com titled ‘Colostrum: More than just IgG’ discussed the importance of the numerous components of colostrum that are often overlooked.

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What are your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions?

Holstein calves in NH enjoy some fresh feed

For the last month many of us reflected on what we were thankful for, spent some quality time with our families and friends and enjoyed mom’s homemade goodies, maybe a few too many! AS 2011 comes to a close and we look forward to 2012 many people are thinking of resolutions and goals for the year to come. Maybe we want to save more money, volunteer somewhere in the community, take that trip you’ve always dreamed of or lose those extra pounds you blame on all the holiday goodies.

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