Intensive milk or milk replacer programs, also known as accelerated growth programs, enhanced growth programs, or perhaps most properly biologically appropriate feeding programs have had a great influence on bottle calf nutrition programs on U.S. dairies in the past 10 years.
Replacement heifers represent the future of the cow-calf operation. These females are the genetics behind the next generation of farm offspring. Efficient development is critical as raising a replacement heifer represents a significant asset that does not generate a return until the first calf is sold.
Periparturient hypocalcemia (milk fever) is a common condition of dairy cows with an annual incidence of 5 to 8%. Effective treatment and control programs for milk fever are therefore required for dairy cattle.
Salmonellosis has always been present within the US dairy and beef industries but has become an increasing problem on some dairies due to a variety of factors likely related to increasing herd size, production levels, and increased use of confinement housing.
In the words of H.D. Hoard, "... this is the Home of Mothers. Treat each cow as a Mother should be treated." We need to take this thought to heart as we think about how we should treat the new moms and moms-to-be on our dairy farms. These cows are at great risk due to the great physiologic, metabolic, and management changes they go through in a relatively short time period.
Following the initial report of jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS) in 1992 by Ruggles et al, the disease has subsequently been reported in dairy cows in the US, dairy and beef cows in Canada, dairy cows in Europe and dairy cows in the Middle East.
The heifer selection program is a vital aspect of a commercial cow-calf operation. Since replacement heifers represent the future potential of the herd, successful replacement programs are a high priority item requiring careful attention by the ranch manager.
Omphalophlebitis and arthritis are common diseases in calves from 0 to 90 days of age, being the 4th and 5th most common diagnoses in calves; omphalophlebitis, 0.06 cases per calf year of risk; arthritis, 0.024 cases per calf year of risk. The three most common calf hood diseases are diarrhea, respiratory disease, and ringworm.