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CALF members at the recent Dairy Calf and Heifer INSIGHT Conference MANAGEMENT Association From panel By Kayla Jentz The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association Conference, held April 1-3, in Green Bay, WI, gives attendees an opportunity to learn about some of the newest innovative practices, technology and research in the calf and heifer industry. The theme for this year’s conference is “Be a Driver of Change.” In the upcoming April issue of DairyBusiness East, the focus is on the importance of proper calf management in order to have a profitable dairy farm. We had the chance to sit down with panel members from the recent DCHA Conference and discuss their operations’ best calf management tips. For the full discussion, make sure to read your copy of DairyBusiness East, out soon! Hall’s Calf Ranch, Kewaunee, WI J Hall started managing calves with 13 rented hutches in his backyard. That was in 1995. Today, 19 years later, J and his wife have around 25,000 calves going through their facility each year. At any given time they have around 6,800 calves housed in 4,000 hutches and 18 barns (accommodating the DBweekly 4 Kayla Jentz | HolsteinWorld other 2,800). Both heifers “It really makes our job so much easier if we’re getting and bulls are raised from a good, healthy calf.” - J Hall, Hall’s Calf Ranch, when 26 different farms, but not all of the bulls are raised referring to calf management “starting at the beginning.” through weaning. Generally Larson Acres, Evansville, WI the makeup of the calf herd is Larson Acres is a 2,900-cow 10% bulls and 90% heifers. Holstein operation with a 29,000 Proper calf managements “starts at the lb. Rolling Herd Average. They beginning,” according to J. From a clean have two parlors – a double-22 calving environment to high quality colostrum given immediately after birth, J says you’ve got and a double-20, and the all the right ingredients from the start to have operation consists of 5,000 acres. At any given a profitable calf and heifer for the future. Once time, the dairy has approximately 175 calves on calves arrive on the ranch, they are each tested milk. One practice that Michael Larson, general for BVD and serum protein is run to determine if they’ve received colostrum from their mother. manager, has implemented has been feeding milking 3x per day. Calves receive anywhere J says proper colostrum feeding has been from 6 to 9 quarts of milk daily, depending on one of the biggest challenges on the ranch, age, for 6 to 7 weeks. “Although we didn’t so they have started working with clients and their employees to establish a feeding protocol. necessarily see more rate of gain (we delivered “It really makes our job so much easier if we’re the same volume per day), we did notice less health issues,” explains Michael. getting a good, healthy calf,” said J. Michael admits that he’s intrigued by the
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