80 Years of Munson Quality Feeds
Managing Calves During Transition Months

 By Ted Radintz, Calf and Heifer Specialist

The seasonal transition from winter to spring has been longer than normal this year. The extended “brown” season has most calf producers dealing with mild and then cold temperatures, as well as increased dampness.
 
These stressors reveal gaps in our calf management and have us searching for answers. Let’s look at a few areas that will help our calves in the transitional months and set them up for long-term success. 
 
Pre-calving and maternity: Getting calves off to a great start on day one is critical for high calf health and performance. Make sure close-up cows have a clean, disinfected and well-bedded maternity pen.

Housing: Adjust the barn’s ventilation frequently throughout the day (4-6 times daily) and give additional attention to calf bedding needs, including possible bed pack removal and replacement.

Sanitation: Cleanliness and sanitation are critical year-round, but gaps in sanitation protocols are amplified when combined with weather stress. Mixing pails, utensils, feeding buckets and bottles should all be cleaned and sanitized, as well as tube feeders and drenching guns.

Consistency: Whether you feed milk replacer or pasteurized waste milk, hand deliver milk or use an auto-feeder, day-to-day feeding should be consistent. Weigh milk replacer powder before mixing, check the water temperature with a thermometer before and during milk mixing, and perform routine maintenance on auto-feeders and pasteurizers.
 
Other practices with big payoffs: Offer clean water and a high-quality calf starter by the second day of life. Review your calf vaccination and animal health protocols with your veterinarian to reflect current concerns.

Please contact your Munson Lakes Nutrition consultant for more in-depth information.

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@C - CORN - CBOT
  High Low Last Chg
Jul 360'4 358'6 359'2 0'0
Sep 369'0 367'4 368'0 0'2
Dec 378'4 377'0 377'4 0'0
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Oct 115.550 112.325 113.350 - 2.500
Dec 115.750 112.625 113.425 - 2.575
Feb 116.375 113.275 114.000 - 2.625
Apr 114.825 111.900 112.700 - 2.475

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Customer Spotlight:

Technology Measures Mixes and Feeds These Cows

A TMR mixer mounted on a robotic feed pusher makes its way down the concrete feeding aisle of the new, but not yet full, 122-cow free-stall barn constructed next to the old tie-stall barn at Scherber’s Morning Star Dairy near Corcoran.


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