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Biologically Appropriate Calf Feeding

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

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.

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3 Common Calf Barn Ventilation Questions Answered

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M
Director of Technical Services

I have been fascinated with calf barn ventilation for more than a decade; to the point where I have made its study the focus of much of my professional career. Calf raisers around the world often have the same questions when it comes to ventilation and this article will discuss the three most common calf barn ventilation questions I receive. Interestingly enough, the questions themselves are often more complicated than their associated answers.

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Dry Cow Nutrition and Management: The Key to Quality Colostrum

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By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Colostrum is one of the most important factors in raising healthy calves. Besides assuring a healthy start to the calf’s life, colostrum is known to have positive effects that increase a calf’s potential as a 1st lactation heifer. Colostrum is commonly credited for providing antibodies like immunoglobulin G (IgG), but it also supplies hormones, white blood cells and calories. With colostrum being such a vital component of calf health, it is of paramount importance that cows produce adequate volumes of high-quality colostrum. Dry cow vaccination protocols, management practices, and most importantly, dry cow nutrition, all have far-reaching influences on colostrum production and colostrum quality. Guidelines for measuring colostrum quality can be found in the calf section of Crystal Creek’s annual product catalog.

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Nutrient Deficiencies in Small Ruminants

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By Alex Austin, B.S.

A balanced diet is important for the health and productivity of all livestock. This article will discuss some of the more common nutrient deficiencies/imbalances in both sheep and goats. Minerals, specifically, are all connected and work together to keep animals healthy and productive. An excess or deficiency of one can lead to imbalances in another, causing potential health issues. For example, excess calcium can cause the blood vessels to lose vascular tone and eventually rupture. Potassium works with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance. It is important to be able to identify any signs of imbalance in order to correct and prevent issues in a herd.

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Colostrum: More Than Just Antibodies

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By Cassy Golburg, B.A.
Livestock Specialist

The benefits of colostrum in regards to antibodies are well known. Colostrum has many other qualities to offer including high-calorie content, valuable white blood cells and certain naturally occurring hormones. All of these components can have positive effects on a calves’ gastrointestinal health, growth, development and immune health.

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Creating Consistency in Mixing and Feeding Milk Replacer

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By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

Director of Technical Services

Mixing milk replacer to feed pre-weaned calves is a daily task on many farms. And it’s a simple task, right? All it takes is adding the correct amount of powdered milk replacer to the correct amount of water, how hard can that be? While mixing milk replacer may seem easy, mixing milk replacer correctly and consistently for every single feeding is a much more difficult task.

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