Managing Calf Health

Fall weather can really throw us for a loop with high temperatures one day and then a foot of snow the next. This means you’ve got to keep an eye on your livestock barns and your herd health.

The Dairyland Initiative in the School of Veterinary Medicine is an online resource for dairy farmers and industry consultants that need more information about animal housing, lameness prevention and calf health.

They will be hosting a virtual workshop December 13-14 that will cover topics that are essential for a successful calf rearing program. The workshop will include speakers from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.

Dr. Terri Ollivett will take a deep dive into respiratory disease. She will teach participants how to troubleshoot calf health following her #WeanClean philosophy. She will also cover major calf topics such as maternity and colostrum management, feeding rates and strategies, biosecurity, and hygiene.

Also covered will be best practices to promote welfare in calves raised in pairs or small groups. Dr. Jennifer Van Os will share guidelines to help you determine if you’re ready to move away from individual housing.

Dr. Jimena Laporta will present the latest research on solutions to mitigate heat stress in calves.

With proper calf health comes proper housing. Courtney Halbach will cover the importance of building barns to maximize ventilation and provide calves with a comfortable place to rest while Dr. Nigel Cook will discuss the latest in housing recommendations for growing heifers.

Those interested in the workshop should register by noon on Dec. 12 at