Focusing on the first 24 hours of a dairy calf’s life

MSU Extension highlights key factors in managing newborn dairy calves during the first 24 hours of their life at upcoming meetings. The educational dairy program will be offered at 6 locations across the state during January and February.

The first 24 hours of a calf’s life can significantly influence its longevity and productivity in the herd. This 2017 Michigan State University Extension dairy winter program is designed for dairy farm owners, herd managers and agribusiness professionals to learn about the latest research and strategies to improve long-term health and growth of dairy replacements from the first day.

Newborn calves must consume ample quantities of high quality colostrum shortly after birth to ensure successful passive transfer. The meeting will focus on the dam’s ability to produce high quality colostrum based on vaccination protocols during the dry period. Other colostrum quality factors to be highlighted are timing of colostrum harvest (first milking), avoiding bacterial contamination and timely storage of colostrum.

Managing the maternity pen to minimize stress for the cow and to provide a clean environment for the calf and the dam will be reviewed. Ways to reduce stillbirths will be discussed including genetic selection and appropriate intervention during calving. Techniques for handling the newborn calf to minimize any additional stress following birth will be discussed. Special considerations for handling calves during the winter will be covered.

Dates and Locations:

            January 24       St. Johns (Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer)

            January 26       West Branch (Forward Conference Center)

            January 31       Hamilton (Trestle Stop)

            February 14     Falmouth (Falmouth Community Center)

            February 15     Hillsdale (Hillsdale Co. MSU Extension Office)

            February 16     Bad Axe (Franklin Inn)

Meeting times for all locations are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

View the full registration details at the MSU Extension website.

For more details or questions about registration, please contact Nicole Walker at 989-224-5241 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or your area MSU Extension dairy educator.

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