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Quick Reference Caring for Dairy Calves
May 27, 2016

In caring for dairy calves, we have a lot of exciting technology available to use, however keeping track of all the numbers and goals can be overwhelming.

Michigan State University Extension has compiled a quick reference guide for the barn or the office where calves are being cared for.

Colostrum

Brix score is a reliable estimate of colostral IgG’s and is used as an indicator of colostrum quality.

Milk

Whole milk total solids can be checked for consistency and to ensure waste milk is within the recommended total solids range of 12-18 percent. Each milk replacer each has a unique formula to calculate total solids (check with manufacturer), however consistency can be monitored.

Serum

Check serum on healthy calves 24 hours to seven days old to determine the incidence of failure of passive transfer as an indicator of the colostrum program.

Example tag directions: Feed each calf 12 oz (0.75 lb) of powder in a volume of three quarts (0.75 gallons) total solution twice daily. The calculation is: 0.75 lb powder/ (8.6 lb/gallon* 0. 75 gallons) = 11.63 percent total solids

When mixing milk replacer, ensure that the powder is added to the warm water before the final volume is reached otherwise the final mix is more dilute due to increased volume.

Source – Dairy Herd


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