Calfology Blog

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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Another take on group housing of pre-weaned calves

In the current (June) issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia offer another way to improve feed intake in calves, both pre-weaned, and immediately post-weaning.

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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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A tale of many failures . . . and a few successes

Kim’s post about a calf grower with a new barn that did not work out so well reminds me of a lesson I learned “the hard way”. 

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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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Did those milk samples really tell you anything?

Let’s take a closer look at the common recommendation: “you should get some milk samples checked to be sure there is no problem with your milk feeding program”. This usually comes about because there have been some sick calves, and the question that is asked is: is “something” (a pathogen) getting in the milk?

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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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Maternity pens, colostrum, and sick calves

As Kim pointed out a few weeks ago, bacteria in colostrum is a bad thing. Almost everyone who raises calves will agree that feeding dirty colostrum is not a good thing to do. We have all seen the recommendation, published countless times, and stated many different ways: don't feed colostrum that is "dirty".

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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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