Click here to view as a pdf: 2022 December Newsletter.
Click here to view as a pdf: Working With Mother Nature Heifer Maturity Matters
Not every seemingly good idea spawned with good intentions by dedicated professionals turns out to be an effective, practical solution. The case in point discussed here; What is the proper age for a dairy heifer to freshen at? Research presented at the 4-State Nutrition Conference this year, and reviewed in this article, shows that the industry’s efforts to freshen dairy heifers at 22 months of age vs. 24 months of age are detrimental to the lifetime productivity of the cow and to the farmer’s profitability.
Click here to view as a pdf: The Virtue of Patience
Dr. Darren Zimmerman has recently joined the Crystal Creek® team and is further advancing his veterinary skills through an additional knowledge of animal nutrition. Crystal Creek® is excited to be working with Dr. Zimmerman as he becomes more familiar with the Crystal Creek® sustainable approach to livestock nutrition.
When I was first out of vet school, I felt that I had all the knowledge and energy in the world. Unfortunately, clients saw a green, untested kid with a lot of “new” ideas. I quickly learned that “teaching an old dog new tricks” requires patience and persistence; and, if there is one thing farmers know, it’s persistence. Farmers can be a stubborn lot (I say this as someone who married a farmer and is, himself, a farmer). Changing their minds and ways of doing things requires a lot of patience and persistence. Patience can be hard to come by, especially when you have all the knowledge and energy in the world to impart. So many times when something seemed simple and obvious to me, it was difficult to see things from their perspective. I needed to remember that they also had their knowledge and weren’t always looking to adapt and change their world. I learned the value of slow steps and gradual change.
Click here to view as a pdf: The ROI of Calf Barn Ventilation.
One of the top expenses for a dairy is raising replacement heifers. Since it can take approximately two years before a heifer enters the milking herd, heifer raising is often viewed as a cost rather than an investment. While producers may consider cutting corners on heifer care as an attempt to save money, that approach can often lead to greater financial loss in the form of additional medical treatments, increased farm labor, and poor animal performance. Future milk production potential should also be considered. Studies have shown that calves who receive proper care during the pre- and post-weaning periods become better-producing cows. A better-producing cow means a faster return on investment and increased profit. Investing in practices that will help provide a healthy environment for calves to be raised in will result in more productive animals once maturity is reached. There are many variables of calf care, from different feeding programs to housing styles. This article will focus on the cost, and the return on investment, of proper air quality provided by positive pressure calf barn ventilation systems.
Click here to view as a pdf: An Interview Bill Ciolkosz Discusses His Journey to Build a Quality Calf Barn
In the fall of 2021, Bill Ciolkosz added a new calf barn to his operation, along with a Crystal Creek® FLAP DUCT® calf barn ventilation system. Bill is a fourth-generation farmer in Thorp, WI. The land he farms has been in his family for over a hundred years. In a recent interview with Crystal Creek®, Bill discussed the reasoning behind the features he chose for his new calf barn facility and how he decided the FLAP DUCT® ventilation system was the right choice for his calves.
Click here to view as a pdf: Biologically Appropriate Calf Feeding
The performance and production ability of a cow are determined by the quality of nutrition and health management they receive as a calf. Since calf raising is expensive, it is important to determine the most efficient and effective feeding method available. Calves are biologically designed to thrive on milk for the first portion of their life and are able to gain weight very efficiently during this time. Feeding increased levels of milk, or milk replacer can be the best way to increase calf growth rates early in life.