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Click here to view as a pdf: How To Feed Calves? MilkBar™ Teats Can Improve Calf Gut Health

By Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

What should I feed my replacement heifers? Whole milk or milk replacer? What fat and crude protein percentage is right for my operation? Are there additives that I should be using? These are typical questions a calf raiser will ask. Often the focus is on WHAT should be fed to the calf, but how often do people think about HOW to feed their calves?

MilkBar™ is a company founded by dairy farmers in New Zealand that looked deep into this HOW. Their innovation is a teat that mimics the natural physiology of how calves nurse from their dams. And the research shows the MilkBar™ controlled-flow teats hold many health benefits for calves and the heifers they will grow into.

This article lists some of the benefits of feeding calves with MilkBar™ teats. Read More →

Ventilating Repurposed Structures For Calf Housing

Click here to view as a pdf: Ventilating Repurposed Structures For Calf Housing 

By Alex Austin

Building a new calf raising facility is an expensive investment and not always an option. Converting an existing structure, whether it’s a pole shed or old stanchion barn, to house and raise calves can be a great option when done correctly. When considering repurposing an existing structure, a lot of thought goes into the logistics of everyday calf care, such as feeding and bedding, but one area that can be overlooked is proper ventilation. A poorly ventilated calf barn will quickly lead to struggles with calf health and poor performance. To avoid these and achieve proper ventilation, a system that can deliver fresh air in different penning set ups and overcome potential structural challenges is key. Read More →

When Mixing Milk Replacer, Water Temperature Matters

Click here to view as a pdf: When Mixing Milk Replacer, Water Temperature Matters 

By Ryan Leiterman, D.V.M.

In the children’s book Goldilocks and the Three Bears, a little girl named Goldilocks wanders into the forest home of a family of bears and while they are out, she eats from three different bowls of porridge. The first one is too hot and the second one is too cold, but the third one was “just right”. When mixing milk replacer it’s important that the water used to mix is not too hot or too cold. So what temperature is “just right” when mixing calf milk replacer?


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Benefits Of A High Quality Milk Replacer

Click here to view as a pdf: Benefits Of A High Quality Milk Replacer

20210917_CCWEB_CassyBy Cassy Golburg, B.A.

Choosing a milk replacer can seem daunting. There are a variety of things to consider including the type of ingredients, ingredient quality, and the way a milk replacer is processed. All of these can have a large effect on the digestibility and the quality of the milk replacer. Crystal Creek® offers four high quality milk replacer formulations designed to help a calf reach its genetic potential in a dairy herd.

Processing Style:

Many milk replacers are heat processed. Standard heat processing involves adding heat and steam at many stages of production. Gentle processing, on the other hand, avoids any additional steam or heat that could compromise protein structure and nutrient availability. Gentle processing also plays a part in the digestibility of the milk replacer. Crystal Creek® uses gentle processing for its milk replacers, this allows for higher quality ingredients like human grade fats to be used, and the preservation of proteins.

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Next Step In Calf Barn Ventilation: Computer-Based Airflow Simulations and 3D Modeling

Click here to view as a pdf: Next Step In Calf Barn Ventilation: Computer-Based Airflow Simulations and 3D Modeling   

By: Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

We are excited to share with you the new technologies and approaches Crystal Creek’s ventilation team is now utilizing in our ventilation projects. In this article, the software tools, which have improved the way we design ventilation systems, will be explained. These digital tools allow us to obtain precise calculations, visualize airflow patterns, and create realistic 3D representations of barns and ventilation systems before they are even built.

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Livestock Nutrition Fundamentals That Can Have Big Returns

Click here to view as a pdf: Livestock Nutrition Fundamentals That Can Have Big Returns

By Dan Leiterman

In any life endeavor it is critically important to get the fundamentals done right, or else the whole project is at risk, no matter how much added effort and resources are applied. This is true in any business and is definitely the case in an agricultural business.

When it comes to livestock nutrition, meeting the basic nutritional needs of the animal at the right time of need is fundamental to the success of a livestock enterprise. This is true no matter what the species. In this article I will use dairy cows and calves as my example of concepts that would apply to all livestock.

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Working With Mother Nature…Heifer Maturity Matters

Click here to view as a pdf:  Working With Mother Nature Heifer Maturity Matters

By Dan Leiterman

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.

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The ROI of Calf Barn Ventilation

Click here to view as a pdf:  The ROI of Calf Barn Ventilation.

By Alex Austin, B.S.

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.

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An Interview: Bill Ciolkosz Discusses His Journey to Build a Quality Calf Barn

Click here to view as a pdf:  An Interview Bill Ciolkosz Discusses His Journey to Build a Quality Calf Barn

By Cassy Golburg, B.A.

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.

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Biologically Appropriate Calf Feeding

Click here to view as a pdf:  Biologically Appropriate Calf Feeding

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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