Grass tetany might be easily defined as a deficiency of magnesium, but for Dick Kurtz of Oregon, Mo., it just means trouble. He lost three cows in March to the disorder and is carefully watching a few more.
Increasing the liquid nutrients delivered to calves in cold weather is a highly recommended practice, and is done with the best of intentions. But abomassal bloat can be a deadly side effect for some calves.
Summer climate changes mean preweaned calves need more water in their diets to prevent dehydration. But calf and heifer specialist Sam Leadley says calves also need water year-around for optimal digestive development.
The health and productivity of young calves can be affected by a wide range of metabolic and pathogenic conditions. Among the maladies that can profoundly affect calves’ health is their intake and balance of sodium.
Moisture came to about two-thirds of the country last week, dropping heavy precipitation from the southern Great Plains northeastward into the northern Appalachians. But many areas remains in significant drought.
When raising replacement heifers, cost per pound of gain is a far more important metric than daily feed cost, according to Tamilee Nennich, dairy nutritionist and board member for the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association.