Latest News From Dairy Calves

How Can I Make Money with Beef-on-Dairy?

With drought and production costs pushing the native beef population to a record low, beef-on-dairy has a huge opportunity to keep the feedlots and processors at full capacity.

A New Tool for Better Calf Transport

Real-time monitoring of the environmental conditions for baby calves during transport would be highly beneficial to their comfort and health. Now, that task is becoming a possibility.

Does Acidification Improve Colostrum?

Acidification of milk or milk replacer is a common practice for some calf raisers, with some studies showing it improves weight gain and fecal scores in calves.

The Eyes Have It When Detecting Early Calf Respiratory Disease

Detecting respiratory disease in calves early – when treatment is most effective – should start by examining the head and facial features, according to veterinarian Tiago Tomazi with Merck Animal Health.

Probiotics Improve Early Weight Gain in an Automated Milk Feeder Study

Could probiotics improve early calf growth? Researchers think so.

Here’s Why Cows Produce Less Colostrum During the Fall and Winter

Have you ever noticed that cows who calve during the fall and winter months tend to produce less colostrum than their herd mates who calved during the spring and summer? Here's why.

Can We Use Technology to Screen for Sick Calves?

By using precision technologies such as automated milk feeders and pedometers combined with machine learning, dairy producers can detect illness earlier and make informed decisions about treatment.

Shorter Hauls Suggested for Traveling Calves

When baby calves are transported from their home dairy to a separate rearing site, they need support in multiple ways.

More Milk Could Mean Faster Healing for Young Calves

It has been well-documented that feeding preweaned calves on a higher plane of nutrition improves calf health and performance. However, providing calves more nutrients may also promote wound healing.

Caffeine Perks up Calves, Too

That jolt from your morning java also could be a handy helper in stimulating struggling newborn calves. Caffeine could help calves before they receive colostrum, or at other times when calves appear dull and lethargic.

Calves Could Benefit from Physical Enrichment

Just like children letting off some steam on the playground, calves too could benefit from physical enrichment.

Helping Calves Eat Naturally

In our quest for healthy, growthy, efficiently raised calves, have we lost some of the more fundamental elements of what makes calves tick?

The Pros and Cons of Caustic Paste

University of Wisconsin animal welfare researcher Sarah Adcock addresses several considerations when using caustic paste to complete disbudding, as well as some drawbacks that could be improved upon.

9 Practices to Help Resuscitate a Newborn Calf

After a typical birth the calf should breathe within 30 seconds of delivery, says Dr. Geof Smith, dairy technical services veterinarian for Zoetis. If it isn't, you need to intervene.

Six Straw Alternatives to Get You Through a Bedding Shortage

If you are experiencing a shortage in your straw supply, here are six bedding alternatives to consider.

Time to Break Out the Calf Jackets

Because newborn calves have very little body fat to help them stay warm, calf jackets can help them preserve energy, protect immunity and improve daily gain.

Are Dairy Crossbreds Harder to Calve?

Compared to Holsteins, is calving time with crossbreds more difficult in terms of calf weight, stillbirth, gestation length, or dystocia?

Colostrum May Have Yet Another Virtue: Scours Treatment

Effectively treating calves for scours could be as easy as feeding them something that virtually every dairy farm has on hand: colostrum.

An Easier Way to Temp Calves?

Monitoring calves’ body temperature is a critical metric to maintaining their health, and is especially valuable if temperature changes can be detected early.

Do you have a Calf Herd Program?

While Lung Ultrasound is the cornerstone of any good Calf Herd Health Program, there are many other benefits to getting your herd vet in your calf barn on a regular basis.

A Dairy Farm Summer Camp: Fun for All Ages

Dairy farms are a hustling and bustling place. Last year, the Berning family in Illinois opened their dairy farm barn doors and offer Farm Camp for kids of all ages. Camp includes farm chores, scavenger hunts and more.

Tips for Preventing Neospora-induced Abortions

Neospora is the most commonly diagnosed cause of abortions in cattle both domestically and worldwide.

Researchers Explore Risks of Feeding Waste Milk

Feeding waste milk to calves captures high-quality nutrients and adds value to a product that otherwise would be discarded. But recent research sheds light on concerns about the practice.

Calves Can Be Picky About Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are important to calves’ development, but these nutritional components can vary in source. It turns out some trace minerals are more palatable than others, resulting in differences in consumption.

Pour Hydration to Heat-stressed Calves

Extra water – along with a possible electrolyte boost -- is never more important than in the heat of summer.

Unnecessary Calving Assistance Could be Causing Metritis

Providing assistance too early during stage II labor may result in an increased risk of metritis.

How to Mimic the Perks of Transition Milk

We now know the beneficial influence of feeding transition milk to calves. Is there a way to deliver that nutritional and immunological support and bypass the tedious process of harvesting and feeding transition milk?

The Heifer Discussion

The increased cost associated with raising heifers has made producers retool their thinking. Earlier management decisions are happening on dairies, with a more dialed-in, strategic breeding philosophy being adapted.

7 Steps to Start Calves on Starter

The sooner calves eat enough dry feed to sustain themselves, the better equipped they are to bridge the nutritional gap between the fixed liquid ration and a weaned diet of solely dry feeds.

“Hybrid” Approach Helps Maximize Colostrum Quality

Maternal colostrum is often considered nature’s “perfect food.” But does this “free” resource help calves achieve passive immunity as reliably as the guaranteed ingredients in a bag of colostrum replacer?

Calf Care & Quality Assurance Instructors Sought

The new Calf Care & Quality Assurance program is ready to engage some arms and legs to carry out its mission. The second CCQA Instructor training is planned for June 2022.

How to Pick the Best Electrolyte for Your Calves

Pardon the pun, but dealing with scours can be a real pain in the butt. It’s frustrating, it’s costly, and it can be downright messy at times.

Give Dairy Calves a Toothpick

Young animals often benefit from stemmy, lower quality forages. WIth regard to nutrition, this may seem counterintuitive but research indicates that's the case.

Late Maternal Stress Proves to be Real

It’s important to stay abreast of new research that can influence dairy management practices. That’s what happened recently at Rosy-Lane Holsteins, Watertown, Wis.

Dairy Semen Sales hit 17-Year-Low: What Will the Trend be Going Forward?

With the cost of inflation impacting every corner of a dairy, the producer’s breeding strategy has been forced to become finetuned. More and more producers are keeping just enough replacements to fill the pipeline,.

Essential Oils Earn a Seat at the Calf Management Table

In the quest to find alternatives to antibiotics to fight disease in dairy calves, essential oils are the subject of a growing body of calf health research.

Foolproof Colostrum Protocols Makes all the Difference

A protocol overhaul helped the team at Singing Brook Farms, Imler, Pa., up their game in colostrum delivery. Two of their key managers share how they now seamlessly deliver high-quality colostrum to every newborn calf.

Could SARA be “Good” for Calves?

It is well-known that sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) is a harmful and costly condition for adult dairy cows. But when calves get SARA, is it bad news for them, too? A Canadian researcher’s conclusion: maybe not.

Bottle Beats the Bucket in Providing Winter Water

Providing free choice water to newborn calves has been shown to deliver a wide array of benefits in terms of calf health and performance. But it’s also a huge challenge for some farms in the winter.

Pros and Cons of Raising Calves in Paired Housing

Housing calves with at least one companion can improve animal welfare, calf growth, and consumer perception. But there are challenges, too.

8 Things to Know and Do When you Receive Beef-Dairy Cross Calves

During the recent Academy of Veterinary Consultants conference, Dan Altena, DVM, Valley Veterinarians Inc., offered some take-home points to help veterinarians with crossbred calves in the feedyard.

Calf Care & Quality Assurance Unites Dairy, Beef and Veal Industries

The dairy, beef, and veal sectors are collaborating to form a first-of-its-kind program to promote the health and welfare of calves throughout the supply chain.

Slug-feeding Starter May Create Bad Habits for Life

Habits formed early in life – whether good or bad – often carry through to adulthood. Like little children, calves, too, need to be trained on positive behaviors, including the way they eat.

Could Autofeeders Help Detect Calf Disease?

More and more farms have made the switch from feeding calves individually to group autofed systems. However, disease detection in group-housed calves remains a challenge. Could autofeeders help detect sick calves?

A Stepped-Down Approach to Weaning

Dairy farmers and calf raisers have tried to adapt calves to solid calf starter as soon as possible to save money. If this is done poorly, calf raising costs can soar due to increased levels of sickness and even death.

Crypto in Calves: Better Managed with a Shovel than a Needle

As one of the top scourges to calf raisers, cryptosporidium is an ever-present challenge that rarely takes a holiday.

Does Dam Health Affect Daughter Performance? Maybe Not

Have you ever had a cow come down with a disease while she was pregnant? Probably so. But does that illness impact the calf? Maybe not.

Six Ways to Help Preweaned Dairy Calves Succeed in Group Housing

Factors for consideration include colostrum management, group composition and dynamics, bedding and space, nutritional management, early disease detection and the need for "real life" observations.

More Rest for Dry Cows May Equal More Live Calves

It appears that making sure dry cows are comfortable and encouraged to rest influences the survival of their newborns.

Watch Liquid Feed Temps when Mercury Drops

Wintry weather demands extra attention for preweaned calves, and that includes the temperature of their liquid feedings.