Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 18

WILL YOU MEET YOUR CALVES'
NEEDS THIS WINTER?
BY MEGAN WILDMAN,
CALF AND HEIFER SPECIALIST,
PURINA ANIMAL NUTRITION

M

aintaining optimal calf growth and health during
cold weather can be a delicate balance. Taking a
proactive stance in keeping calves' energy levels up,
stress levels down, and facilities up to par can help
your calves avoid winter growth slumps.
Use these management tips in your calf program to
help meet their winter needs:
DON'T LET COLD HINDER GROWTH
As the seasons change, calves can suffer from cold
stress sooner than you might think. Calves become
cold stressed at moderate temperatures because they
have a higher surface-area-to-bodyweight ratio than
older animals. Even at a temperature of 60 degrees
Fahrenheit, cold stress can impact the growth and
health of dairy calves.
During periods of cold stress, calves require additional energy to maintain their body temperature and continue growing. If their nutritional requirements aren't
met, they'll utilize valuable energy stores, which can
result in weight loss and impaired immune function.
Implement a feeding program to support increased
energy demands. Provide extra energy to the calf by
adding a third feeding of milk or milk replacer (preferably late in the evening) and increasing the amount of
starter offered. Seasonal formulations of milk replacer

18

Perspectives Magazine

phoenixfeeds.net

are designed specifically to meet the needs of calves
during inclement weather.
KEEP WATER AND FEED FRESH
Volatile weather can cause starter in buckets to go
stale or to mold, which can lead to potential digestive
upsets and calves going off feed. Keep calves eating
and growing by ensuring that they always have fresh
starter and water.
Calf raisers often underestimate the level of dehydration associated with the lower relative humidity
and dry air brought on by colder weather. Feed calves
warm water between 100-105 degrees F. Cold water
forces calves to use extra energy to heat the water to
their core body temperature post-consumption.
PUT EMPLOYEES ON HIGH ALERT
Winter temperatures can cause calves to be more vulnerable to disease challenges. Train employees to look
for early signs of illness such as decreased feed intake
and droopy eyes and ears. Checking calves more frequently during times of increased risk can also help
employees quickly recognize a calf that's experiencing
a challenge.
MAINTAIN DRY AND DEEP STRAW BEDS
Deep straw bedding can help calves nest and conserve heat. Use a 1-3 bedding scorecard to evaluate if
bedding packs are deep enough based on how much of
the calf's legs show when laying down:


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Perspectives - Fall 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Fall 2018

Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover1
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover2
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Contents
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 4
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 5
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 6
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 7
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 8
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 9
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 10
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 11
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 15
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 17
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 18
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 19
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 20
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 21
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 22
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 24
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 25
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 28
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 29
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 30
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 31
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Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 37
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 38
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - 39
Perspectives - Fall 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/retromotion/perspectives_2014summer
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com