Minimize Stress at Birth
Maximizing calf health is not an easy task. Calves face numerous challenges 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. Due to these challenges, pre-weaned calves have the highest mortality rates of any age group on a dairy farm.
Kimberley Morrill, Ph.D, CCE NNY Dairy Specialist