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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 →

Ask The Vet: Get Your Spring Chicks Off To A Good Start

Click here to view as a pdf: Ask The Vet: Get Your Spring Chicks Off To A Good Start 

By Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

Across the country, more and more people are discovering the joys of maintaining their own backyard chicken flock. For many backyard flock owners, knowing where their meat and eggs come from, coupled with the security and self-reliance of having control of their food source is important. Even in many urban settings, city residents find that local ordinances allow for a small flock of chickens. It is not uncommon, for new people being introduced to chickens, to begin their flock by purchasing peeping chicks. When it comes to chick rearing, there are four key management areas to focus on: Temperature, Water, Feed and Lighting. 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 →

Stepping Back: With Reflection and Gratitude

Click here to view as a pdf: Stepping Back: With Reflection and Gratitude 

By Dan Leiterman

This coming April I will be 72 years old and have served the agricultural industry for nearly 50 years. After much reflection and with immense gratitude, I believe it is time to step back and retire.

In reflecting back on my career, it is humbling to see how much I owe the farming community. Almost everything in my life can be somehow connected to my career in agriculture. It was 45 years ago, while working at a local feed mill in western Wisconsin that a pretty young woman came into our store looking for horse feed. I loaded the feed into her truck and asked her out on a date. Fast forward to today, Jan and I have been married for over 43 years. We have raised a family and now enjoy watching our sons grow their families.

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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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Nutritional And Management Considerations In Robotic Milking Facilities

Click here to view as a pdf: Nutritional and Management Considerations In Robotic Milking Facilities

By Erik Brettingen, B.S.

Robotic milking systems are becoming increasingly common in the dairy industry. Milking with robots provides benefits for both the dairy farmer and the cow. For the dairy farmer, robots take stress off a difficult labor situation and allow more flexibility of time. They allow time that would have been spent milking to be spent on potentially higher value activities like herd management tasks, making quality forage, and more time with family. For the cows, robots can improve comfort by allowing more expression of natural cow behavior. Especially in free flow systems, cows can move about the barn as they please, get milked when they want, and rarely experience time standing when they would rather be laying or eating. Like anything, along with the benefits also come a few difficulties. Feeding cows in a robotic milking system can have some challenges but a few key concepts have been proven to help create success. Exceptional forage quality, robot concentrate palatability, transition cow performance, and a rumen focused formulation strategy all contribute to sustainable and profitable production in robot herds.

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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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