Calf hutch walk-throughs: What you need to look for

This article is part two in a two-part series on what to look for during a calf pen walk-through. Indoor calf pen walk-throughs: What you need to look for. In the previous article, the focus was on looking at calves with some simple ways to identify a potential problem. This time, we’ll talk about specific things to look at when walking calves in hutches. Well-managed hutches can be a great environment for calves. Looking at hutches can be similar to looking at calves. Focus on the needs of the calf and manage the hutch to meet its needs. Shelter is the calf’s most basic need. The hutch provides shelter from weather – rain, snow, wind, sun. Look at each hutch as you walk by and ask yourself, “Does this hutch provide adequate shelter for this calf? Will it be protected in all types of weather?” Positioning Are hutches positioned to take advantage of the local environment? In cold-weather climates, positioning hutches so the doors face to the south allows the calf to lie inside where it is protected from the wind but still has the benefit of warmth from the sun. In the summer, positioning the doors to the north will provide shade and help keep the calf cool. While it is not feasible to turn hutches once they are in use, many producers will start facing the hutches in the desired direction as the seasons change. As summer approaches, new calves will go into hutches that face north, while calves in south-facing hutches will be weaned and move out of the hutches before the weather gets hot. Air...

ANC Product Spotlight: Cow Refresher

We are all aware of the impact that milk fever and ketosis has on our bottom line, especially with milk prices being lower as we get further into 2016. We understand the impact this has on our producers and we have engineered Cow Refresher to aid in battling these diseases. An average case of clinical ketosis or milk fever has been known to cost a producer anywhere from $200-$500 and with milk prices around $13/cwt, it is clear that there may be an opportunity to lower our risk. (Fresh Cow Diseases can Kill Your Checkbook). Cow Refresher is a powder that is designed to be mixed into 5-10 gallons of warm water, and be offered to the cow just after freshening. When used as directed, one pail of Cow Refresher can treat up to 13 cows. Cow Refresher supplies calcium, glucose and electrolytes which all aid in reducing the risk of a metabolic disease. This product administers a minimum of 7.50% calcium to aid in reducing the incidence of milk fever. Cow Refresher is easier and sometimes safer to administer than a calcium bolus when used as directed. Cow Refresher also contains quickly digestible sugars such as dextrose and sucrose to aid in restoring a positive energy balance and assists in preventing ketosis. Electrolytes are also supplied to aid in rehydrating the cow after freshening. Customers who use it enjoy the convenience of the product and its ability to aid in preventing metabolic problems on farm. “Since we’ve used Cow Refresher, the cows haven’t skipped a beat with eating.  Starting the pre-fresh on ANC was the best thing we’ve ever...