Nutritional regulation of gut function in calves: colostrum and milk
Cargill sponsored Hoard’s Dairyman webinar presented by Michael Steele, University of Guelph. This webinar dives into the importance of high quality colostrum and strategies to consider while transitioning calves onto milk.
How you set goals can be the difference in achieving them or not. This year strive to make sure all of your dairy goals are SMART. Read this post by Dr. Jenn Trout, Cargill Calf and Heifer Specialist, to learn what SMART stands for and how to utilize this method of goal setting.
By Mike Messman, Ph.D., Dairy Technical Services Manager, Cargill
Your youngest producers set the bar for milk production. Mike Messman, Ph.D., Dairy Technical Services Manager, Cargill, covers two critical reasons why you should be focusing on the two-year-olds in your herd. If you identify these areas as a challenge on your farm, there are three key practices he discusses that your farm could implement to help.
By Terry Batchelder, Dairy Technical Specialist (originally published on December 31, 2018)
After the time and attention that has been invested in raising and breeding heifers, it can be easy to transition heifers to the pregnant pen and put them on autopilot until calving. This story covers the critical things that need to be monitored during this time period to ensure we are on target to meet dairy goals, and that those goals align to being a profitable dairy farm.
Terry Batchelder, Cargill Dairy Technical Specialist, discusses how monitoring the amount of heifers you’re raising and their growth can help you manage profitability on your dairy. Read the breakdown in the original Progressive Dairyman article here. You can also download this tool that will help you determine how many replacement heifers are needed to maintain herd size, based on age at first calving (AFC) and cull rate.
Heifer Nutrition: Start with the end in mind
By Chris Canale, Cargill Dairy Specialist for Progressive Dairyman (originally published on August 6, 2018)
Success begins with an end in mind. Think trajectory. Think reverse engineering. If you want age at first calving (AFC) to be 21 or 22 months old, you better have an “end” weight and frame modeled into your growth system. Once you know growth targets, you can align nutrition to meet those goals.
Many dairy farmers believe the ideal AFC goal is 22 months – and for some dairies, it is. However, for many dairies, it is not.
When summer rolls around thoughts of the beach, family barbeques, and fireworks usually do too, but something else that should be top-of-mind is the increased risk of heat stress in calves. Rising temperatures can propose significant consequences on growth and health, as calves undergoing heat stress are expending their energy to stay cool.
While in the heat of summer, it is important to be aware of what you can do as a caregiver to help mitigate heat stress in your calves. Providing your calves with a cool, dry environment, and ensuring they are hydrated will go a long way in preventing heat stress.
3 risks of heifer overcrowding and how to fix them
By Kate Cowles for Progressive Dairyman (originally published on December 29, 2017)
Being aware of some of the major risks that can result from overcrowding heifers is essential to managing them effectively. Implementing mitigation strategies early on can help prevent the situation from taking a negative toll that will ripple into future lactations.
By Alyssa Dietrich, Calf and Heifer Specialist for Progressive Dairyman (originally published on April 12, 2018)
For decades, scours has been on record as the most common cause of death for preweaned dairy calves. Beyond the economic loss from death, scours increases treatment and labor costs, and reduces growth rates, thus affecting future production. It has been determined that for each day a calf is sick in the first four months of life, it costs her an estimated 278 pounds of milk in the first lactation, and each pound of preweaning average daily gain is worth an estimated 850 pounds in the first lactation.