Transcript Slide 1

Raising Fiscally Responsible Replacements!

Winter Dairy Management ‘08 January 21 – Richfield Springs January 22 – Saratoga Springs January 23 – Randolph Ctr., VT January 24 – Chazy January 25 – Carthage January 28 – Geneva January 29 – Batavia January 30 – Pike January 31 – Randolph, NY February 1 -- Cortland


tipping the scale in our favor

Newborn HEALTH

Pathogens Environment


Presentation collaborators

 Jerry Bertoldo, DVM Dairy Specialist Cornell University Extension/PRO-DAIRY  Julie Smith, DVM Extension Dairy Specialist University of Vermont

with special thanks to Dr. Chris Rossiter, Poulin Grain slides and materials in this presentation

Health Triad

“If you always do, what you’ve always done, You’ll always get, what you’ve always got.”

  

You have a starring role!

The Picture of Calf Health

Health Status Pathogen Exposure Environment Stress Resistance Nutrition

The Reality

 9% of unweaned calves nationwide (excluding the DOA’s) die, primarily of diarrhea diseases  Dystocia calves (3/5 score or higher) are 3.8 times more likely to get sick and 4.5 times more likely to die than ones having a normal birth  These represent 60% of all calf deaths Franklyn Garry, DVM, CSU

Most wanted calf killers

The most common findings on a young stock necropsy ?

 Dehydration  Under-nutrition

Metabolic Impact of Dystocia

poor awareness & underrated

 Physical trauma, inactivity and congestion  Low blood oxygen levels  Hypothermia (<101°F)  Respiratory acidosis  Transient hypoglycemia  Poor IgG absorption  Poor innate response

The Source of Disease

 Adult cattle are “hotels” for most disease pathogens  Sick calves and stressed adults are the “factories”

In Utero Diseases

 BVD (PI or persistently infected)  Leptospira hardjo-bovis  Neosporosis  Brucellosis  Johnes  Leucosis

Diseases from Adults around calving

 BRSV - nasal discharge  Mycoplasma - nasal and vaginal discharge, colostrum  Leukosis – colostrum, in utero  Johnes - colostrum, manure, in utero  Salmonella - manure, colostrum, saliva  E. coli, Rotavirus, Coronavirus, Coccidia, Cryptosporidia - manure

Understanding Pathogen Risk

 Adult world bugs present a risk to young stock which decreases with age  Scour microbes infect via the organic matter/feces to mouth route  Respiratory ones rely on nose to nose or aerosol transmission  Mutations guarantee pathogen change despite a closed herd situation


 Work better after dirt and organic material has been removed  Effect logarithmic reduction in pathogen load  Affected by temperature, concentration, pH, water hardness, presence of organic material

Characteristics of Disinfectants

 Iodophors active at acid pH but not alkaline  Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) most active at pH 6  Increase in temperature rapidly increases effectiveness of alcohols  Dilution of phenolics significantly decreases strength of activity

Household bleach

 Sanitizing strength  200 ppm, 1 Tbsp/gal  10 min contact, rm. temp., pH 6-7  Disinfecting strength  2400 ppm, 6 oz (3/4 C)/gal; 2 min  Tuberculocidal (hospital) strength  5000 ppm, 1 ½ C/gal  1 min contact, rm. temp., pH 6-7

The Everyday Challenge

 “Wet” calves followed by weaned ones present the majority of replacement health issues on the dairy.

 80% of calfhood disease is enteric with respiratory problems majority of the rest  Local, surface lung immunity is good by 6 weeks of age, the gut takes several months to get to the same stage

Passive Immunity from Colostrum

 Immediate  Short-lived Ig (11.5-16 day half-life)  Antigen specific

3 weeks old Birth

Active Immunity

 Newborns have 20-25% of the adult level of immune “machinery”  Only limited response possible in first 7-10 days of life  Natural exposure and vaccines use same pathway to protection  Age is no guarantee of immune progress

Primary and Secondary Immune Response (Anamnestic Response) 2 nd exposure

Memory Cells

0 14 21 28 35

Time in days from 1 st antigen exposure

How to Ruin a Good Immune Response

 Increase stressors – cortisol release  Dystocia  Discomfort  Excessive heat (>85 °F) or cold (?°F)  Rough handling/increase fear  Isolation from other calves  Mingling of wide range of age and sizes  Multiple procedures at one time

How to Ruin a Good Immune Response

 High endotoxin exposure  Vaccines from gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, pasturella, hemophilus, moraxella, leptospira  Coliform laden milk whether pasteurized or not  Chronic disease exposure  Coccidia  Parasitism  BVD PI’s in herd

Got scours?

Scour Facts

 Most prevalent between 5-14 days  2/3 of preweaned deaths  Colostral protection in gut last only 5-7 days, but can be prolonged with whole milk feeding  Always a “mixed bag” of pathogens  Calving pen hygiene and prompt calf removal is key to control

Age - Clue to agents involved


E. coli

Adapted from Navarre CB, 2000 Vet Clinics N. Am. FAP p37

E. coli Clostridium perf C Salmonella Rotavirus Corona-virus Cryptosporidia Giardia Coccidia 0 5

< 5 days Acute Enterotoxigenic

E. coli

days to 3+ wks 3 to 7 to 14 days 1 to 14 days 5 to 30 days 1 to 5 wks 14 days to 6 mos 21 days to 2 years

10 15 20 Age (days) 25 30 35 40 Mixed infections common










Common ‘agents’ incriminated in calf scours

Enterotoxigenic E. coli

Gram (-) bacteria Salmonella (typhimurium, newport) cousin to E. coli

Clostridium perfringens type C, B ( A?)

Gram (+) spore-former – Sarcina - oddball

Non-specific ‘environmental’ bugs

Bacteria E.coli , Gram (+) Staphs, streps – drain on immune system?





Cryptosporidia parvum Giardia Eimeria coccidia

Protozoal Parasites

1. “Non-specific” bacterial scours

 Feeding Sam Leadley’s “Bacterial Soup”  Contaminated colostrum, milk, feeding utensils, etc  Streps, staphs, **

E. coli

- from cows and feces  Persistent, mild to moderate scours, slow calves  We can feed calves overwhelming levels of bugs  Room temp milk -


generation time is ~ 20 minutes.  Millions in a couple of hours is easy.

2. Enterotoxigenic E. Coli

  Acute death in healthy calf at 1-5 days.  Often before scours appears.

 Intestine is susceptible only first few days.

 Calf septicemia, E. coli mastitis, Bacteria adhere by hairy fimbria (K99)  Toxins cause severe secretory diarrhea, dehydration and death.  Many E. coli strains - vaccines against a major strain, K99, are effective.

 Source: cow, environment, infected calf

3. Salmonella

 Cousin to E. coli  Affects calves later - 6 days to 2 weeks  Severe diarrhea;

S. dublin -

respiratory disease  Some species multi-drug resistant  High morbidity or mortality  Highly contagious  Different strains, different signs  Inflammation and necrosis of intestinal tract  Septicemia with  Strict animal, pest and worker biosecurity necessary to break cycle of spread

4. Clostridium perfringens Types C, A & Sarcina

 Usually 7 days - 4 weeks; typically acute weakness, bloat and death in healthy calves; hemorrhagic enteritis.

  Overgrowth of normal inhabitant of environment and gut    Anaerobic spore forming, gas producing bacteria Overgrows in favorable conditions – carbohydrate, high pH Produces multiple toxins Associated with ‘large volume’ meals (2x), early starter intake, hard water, milk replacer vs. whole milk  Perforating abomasal ulcers, abomasal crepitus (like bubble wrap) may indicate Sarcina 

Need feeding management and vaccination strategy

5. Rota and Corona Viruses

 Ubiquitous - probably the most common causes of scours.  Almost always mixed with other infections  Calves appear bright until dehydration; wt. loss, acidosis  Rota - 5 to 21 days of age is common.  Damage heals with support in 5 days  Colostral antibody in blood and gut lumen protective for 4-5 days  Many strains of Rota that easily change  Corona – 5 to 30 days - more severe gut villi damage.  Depression, protracted scours, often mild respiratory bout  Damage from corona infection takes weeks to recover  More common in colder climates

6. Cryptosporidium parvum

 1-4 weeks of age; peak shedding at 12-14 days   Mild scours to severe cases requiring aggressive fluid support.    Often mixed infection; 6-10 day duration. Calves lose wt. Multiples in gut (auto-infective) and re-infects intestinal cells


Most farms infected - Shed in extremely high numbers  Mortality low, frustration high  No effective treatment ***  Survives in environment, hard to destroy.

7. Eimeria spp. - Coccidia

   Clinical disease after 17 days (21 day life cycle)  often post-weaning, stress related disease  2 common species; several minor ones 95% of infections are subclinical  Unthrifty, poor gains  Manure rings on tail  Immunosuppression leads to respiratory problems 5% are clinical  Blood in manure  Risk of death  Stunted by intestinal damage

7. Eimeria spp. – Coccidia (cont.)

  Prevention trumps treatment!

 Must not rely on starter medication to prevent infection  Normal starter and milk replacer doses will not rid a clinical infection  Medicate milk or milk replacer from day one!

 Medication through weaning must be seamless Not all products are the same   Rumensin ®, Bovatec®, amprolium


Deccox ®


8. Giardia (water borne)

 2 weeks to 6 months.  Very contagious; on most farms.  Giardia-associated scours - likely seen with mixed infection with cryptosporidia, coccidia, coronavirus  Trials did not show significant affect on growth  May “tip” the balance with mixed infections causing persistent scours 

Fenbendazole strategy reduces scours and shedding if significant.

9. “Nutritional” Scours

Not a “disease”

Can occur at any age

 No, mild, or temporary loss of appetite with a change in feces consistency, color, or amount 

Adaptation to ‘change’ in the diet ?:

  Density, volume, timing, milk temperature, ambient temperature, the feeder  Fat, protein, carbohydrate,, etc.

May be an indication you need to reduce the feeding level or amount, assess the routine – consistency, timing, frequency, or assess product quality.

Signs and severity of dehydration

If scours have started.. you are late to the party

Focus on detecting these!

ORS = Oral replacement solution; works best 2-6% dehydration

Oral Replacement Fluids – Basics

 BASICS (water!)  Any commercial electrolyte, before she scours, calf temperature (102F)  Get comfortable using the tube feeder  Finer tuning  High glucose, bicarbonate or acetate, glycine, especially if depressed  Switch to simple electrolyte after 1-2 days  Part as subcutaneous fluids (warm)

2 4 6 8 10

Approx. fluid replacement for scouring calf (100 lbs)

% Dehydration

1 2 3 4 5

Amt fluid to replace body water


Amt. for maintenance water requirement

Qts/d 2.5




2.5 New daily diarrhea loss Qts/d 2-4 2-4 2-4 2-4 2-4 Total fluid required per day Qts/d 5.5-7.5





Maintenance water requirement estimated by McGuirk, 1992 ~ 25 ml/ lb /d Oral replacement fluids most effective @ 2-6% dehydrated


 Depends on severity and if infection is systemic  Most of scour agents are not susceptible  Effective antibiotics are usually extra label or the dosage needed is  Little attention to normal gut flora restoration

Respiratory Disease

 Usually a post-weaning problem unless poor colostral immunity; 1/4 of preweaned deaths nationwide  Better, longer IgG protection than for scours  Pneumonia less than 3 weeks of age is indicative of low blood selenium, poor ventilation, airborne allergens, improper tube feeding, large nipple holes or hot BRSV infections in freshening heifers

Respiratory Disease

 Pre-weaning usually viral  Post-weaning heavily bacterial with mixed infections common  Coccidiosis can be a potent predisposing factor to disease after weaning  Cold air increases the penetration of microbes into the lung (Grandma was right about those drafts!)

Respiratory Disease Impact

 Much greater impact on height and weight gains than scours  Calves with pneumonia <90 days of age are 2.5 X more likely to die before calving  Fresh heifers having pneumonia histories show higher rates of acute pneumonia and sudden death

Addressing Respiratory Disease

 Preventative use of Terramycin ™ Aureo S™, Aureomycin ™ feed additives often effective ”band-aid”  Antibiotics are more effective for lung disease than for scours, BUT select based on farm experience and diagnostics AND go high on doses and long on treatment days!!

 Early identification and prolonged therapy is rewarding especially for mycoplasma

Addressing Respiratory Disease

 Isolating sick animals for treatment and biosecurity  Give easy access to feed and water  Provide supportive therapy i.e. fluids, drenches, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamin/min supplements

Respiratory Pathogens

 Viral  IBR (uncommon w/ vaccination programs)  BVD (usually a stressor)  BRSV (primary)  Bacterial  Pasteurella multocida/ Mannheimia hemolytica primary  Mycoplasma – secondary?

Salmonella dublin -

new, primary, weaned +  Hemophilus (Histophilus) - secondary, chronic  Arcanobacter (Actinomyces) – secondary, chronic

Vaccination Strategies

 Do no harm!

 No earlier than 3 months if closed herd OR poor colostrum management OR no serious problems  Avoid combination vaccines early with unnecessary components - e.g. 4/5-way w/Lepto  Vaccines given before 3 months of age provide dubious “primary” protection

Vaccination Strategies

 Use modified live virals at least by breeding age  Include type 2 BVD always  Add Lepto hardjo before/at move to group pens with or without tetracycline “firewall”  Avoid more than two gram-negative vaccines at a time regardless of age

Example Calf & Heifer Vaccination Schedule


Clostridium C&D Intranasal IBR-PI3 MLV –IBR, PI3, BRSV, BVD killed?

Pasteurella Mannheimia Lepto hardjo bovis Haemophilus MLV – IBR, PI3, BRSV, BVD killed?





1-5 days of age UltraChoice C&D Newborn, pen moves; as needed 7-14 days if early respiratory infections; repeat at 5-6 weeks TSV-2 Bovi-Shield 4 Prism 4 5-8 weeks (and older) if weaning age pneumonia At or just prior to weaning; repeat in 4 weeks One-Shot Once PMH Spirovac Vista line 5 weeks and older if other vaccines not controlling pneumonias Somubac 1 st dose 12-16 weeks old Repeat in 4-8 weeks Bovi-Shield 4 Prism 4

Example Calf & Heifer Vaccination Schedule


MLV – IBR, PI3, BVD, BRSV + 5 way Lepto Lepto booster Neospora E. coli, Rotavirus, Coronavirus Live or killed 9 way J-5 Clostridium 7 way





1 month prebreeding At pregnancy check At pregnancy check Repeat in 3-4 weeks


Bovi-Shield 4 + L5 Prism 9 Titanium 9 Lepto-Ferm-5 Neoguard 4 and 8 weeks precalving ScourGuard 4KC YES NO YES 4-8 weeks precalving 4 and 8 weeks precalving 4-8 weeks precalving CattleMaster 4 + L5 J-Vac Vision 7


 Antiserums, immune modulators (vit C Immunoboost), intranasal vaccines, oral vaccines and antibodies, endotoxin vaccines instead of conventional vaccines on newborns  Injectable iron dextran, selenium, vitamin E, multi B-vitamins

Internal Parasites


 Not a problem in total confinement except for bedded packs with larval contaminated manure  Larvae need 2-3 days to be infective  Any lot with grass to eat can be a problem

Economic Loss

 Depressed growth  Weakened resistance  Possible 500-1000# first lactation milk loss

Strategic Deworming for Heifers (no previous Rx)

Rx turnout Rx

Rx 4 Rx 3 Rx (>90 days grazing) (Safeguard/Panacur) for safety, economy and ease of use year

The forgotten parasite – lice!

 Less of a problem where calves are remote from older animals  Difficult to eliminate  Cold weather surge  Sucking lice can cause anemia  Older alcohol based pour-ons at lower dose offer good, cheap control

Investigating Problems

 Records of who, what, when and how are invaluable; memory only goes so far!

 Work with your veterinarian; push if necessary!

 Don’t make excuses for what went wrong


 Why? Valuable information if used to make more appropriate management and treatment decisions.  More likely to be effective at reducing disease. Reduce frustration.  Justification for treatment choice  Reduces indiscriminate and unwarranted treatments, time, cost and frustration

Take ‘selected’ diagnostic samples

Representative animals - early in process - preferably not treated.

1) 2) Total serum proteins

on 12 calves!!


samples on live calves – parasitology, culture, gram stain

3) Post-mortem

representative calves!

 Euthanize calf for best samples  Submit

fresh, frozen & fixed tissue


4) Tracheal washes

Calf Resources on the Web

– Sam Leadley – Calving Ease

– Jim Quigley’s Calf Notes

Purdue University - PSU - Babcock Institute

They’re counting on you!

Thank you

Koval Bros. Case Farm  55% mature weight @ breeding  82 - 85% mature weight @ 1 st What Makes a “Quality Heifer” --


Maintaining Management Momentum  1 st Calf “Treated” as Calf/Heifer*

≤ 30%

24 hrs.  3 mos. ____ 4 mos. 


fresh ____  DOAs in first calf heifers

≤ 9%

Male DOAs

7% 7.5%

Female DOAs


 1 st Calf avg. peak

≥ 80% of Mature

or total lactation

≥ 80% of Mature 77% 85%

 1 st Calf Culls ≤ 60 Days in Milk

≤ 5%

 1 st Calf ME ’s

≥ Mature > (+601) 3%

 1 st Calf “Treated” in Lactation*

≤ 15% ?

≥ 85%

retention (any herd) to 2 nd lactation



#1 reason for 1 st lactation culls (continuous improvement)



Heifer Reproduction

A Challenge with a Payback

Jerry Bertoldo, DVM Extension Dairy Specialist NWNY Team CCE/PRO-DAIRY

“Reproduction is a Luxury Function”

• Priority to become pregnant lies below maintenance & growth • Heifers fortunately lack stress levels of lactating cattle

Heifer Repro Physiology

• Onset of puberty at 40% of mature BW 550-600# for Holsteins • 5-12% anestrus at 12 months of age • 16 hour/day lighting trial saw the onset of puberty one month earlier • 2006 USDA study – no heat stress impacts • No metabolic or calving insults

Cow Physiology

• Loss of progesterone into milk or from accelerated liver function after calving • High BUN’s (>19) appear to be detrimental to fertility in some situations 11% loss 6% loss 2% loss

For lactating cows the loss between conception and Day 28 ~ 25-30%

Not apparent pattern in heifers

What's Normal Cow Fertility?

• Fertilization rates for normal heifers and lactating cows are between 90-92% when insemination timing is correct • Lactating cows lose about 40% of fertilized “pregnancies” by day 42 • If HDR is 100%, both pregnancy and conception rate would average 52% • Pregnancy loss for heifers is assumed to be better; data is not readily available

Conception Rates

• 2007 NYS all lactating average = 39% • Range is from 45% for the best 1 poorest old cows averaged 57%; others note 65% 42 DCC at least 27% for heifers!

st lactation performance to 25% for the • 2006 USDA study of 362,000 heifers • Using a 65% CR and 92% fertilization rate suggests early pregnancy loss up to Ron Butler, Cornell

What’s the important number?

• Pregnancy rate! – the speed at which they get bred • 55%+ is a level to shoot for • True PR will be 2-4% below the calculated


80% HDR X 70% CR = 56% PR


90% HDR X 60% CR = 54% PR

Management Challenge

• Heifers often out of the visual “flight path” on the farm • Facilities often not conduce for observing, handling, sorting, catching, marking, vaccinating, monitoring • Overcrowding, footing and ventilation common

Management Challenge

• Heifers do not have routine disruptions like milking that cluster estrus behavior • 2X daily heat detection is necessary for results • Tank to heifer semen time may be an issue leading to fertility problems

Fine Tuning and Balancing

How do we hit management targets when we have such biological variation?

BCS genetics rations Measure, Monitor and Analyze

Breeding Targets

BREED HIP HEIGHT (inches) WEIGHT (pounds) HEART GIRTH (inches) BODY CONDITION Holstein & Brown Swiss Ayrshire & Guersey Jersey 49”-51” 47”-49” 43”-45” 750#-800# 650#-700# 550#-600# 64”-66” 61”-63” 58”-60” 3.0-3.25



The above targets are more important than age. Insemination at less than 12 months of age is generally avoided. Individual growth patterns within breed will vary by genetics, nutrition and health experience.

“So what’s the matter with using a good bred bull?”

• No proof of genetic transmitting ability • No rating of calving ease • One-third have compromised fertility • Few pre-breeding exams are ever done on dairy herd bulls • Venereal diseases possible • Can be dangerous

“So what’s the matter with using a good bred bull?”

• Inaccurate breeding dates • Pre-calving vaccination program hard to maintain • Difficult to evaluate breeding program • Bull interactions in large groups lessens effectiveness (?)

Disease Issues

• Leptospira species – late abortions, stillborns, • Lepto hardjo bovis – implantation failure, EED (up to 45 DCC?) • Neospora caninum - 5-6 mo abortions (early loss past 45 DCC?), newborn neurological issues • Salmonella dublin - abortions • IBR – abortion storms past 4 months • BVD – infertility, EED, abortion, deformities,


• Balanced for growth targets including the micros!

• Fat heifers are prone to infertility and calving difficulty • Say NO to lots of corn silage!

• Heifers should not be the dumping ground for foul feed

Exogenous Estrogens

• Zearalenone – A mycotoxin with estrogen like effect on cattle – The only one known to directly cause abortion – Causes follicular cysts, irregular cycles, mid-cycle heats, false heats in pregnant animals, premature udder development • Phytoestrogens – Plant estrogens biologically active in cattle – Prime candidate is mature first cutting alfalfa hay or haylage growing in cool wet conditions down longer than usual – Same signs as zearalenone without abortions

Removal of offending feed source results in a return to normal estrus behavior in one week or so.

“Targeted Breeding”

• Solely designed to shorten and synchronize estrus, not a timed breeding program • 66% respond 1 st shot • 85% on 2 nd • 90%+ on 3 rd • Originally designed for 11 day intervals

Progesterone Programs

• EZ-Breed CIDR • MGA – melengesterol acetate • Suppress cycle, clear off CL’s, begin follicular development “from scratch” at the same time • CR dependent on heat detection and basic heifer fertility

MGA - Melengesterol Acetate

• Cheap! Pennies per day • One study increased heifer PR 13% from high 40’s to low 60’s • Must be able to ID and segregate heifers • Must feed MGA at prescribed rate (0.5 mg/day/head) for right length of time • Not many using it

Some appointment breed 72 hours post PG

EZ-Breed CIDR’s

(Controlled Internal Drug Releasing) • ~$9.00 each • Individual approach • Less facility dependent • Hormone delivery not dependent on DMI

What about Ovsynch?

• Extra follicular waves alter response in heifers • Does not provide the appointment breeding opportunity as in adult cattle • Relies on conventional heat detection effort

Management Tools

• Visible, documented ID • Written protocols • Flexible, accessible record keeping system • Team approach –vet, herdsman, AI tech

Management Tools

• Convenient areas for restraint and procedures • Provisions to measure growth • Appropriate grouping to make rations, breeding, preg checks, vaccinations, etc. work efficiently

Evaluating your program

• When do you start breeding heifers?

• What is your heat detection rate?

• How many services result in pregnancies?

• How many confirmed pregnancies result in a term calf?

• How fast does this all happen?

Don’t forget…..

• Routine, timely preg checks are critical to heifer repro just like it is for cows • Recheck pregnancies by mid term • Vaccination programs for reproductive health start during calfhood • No matter what your threshold for heifer breeding is, heat detection must be intensive and relentless in order to keep the age at first calving distribution in a reasonable range

Heifer Management Evaluation Snapshot – Two Components Replacement Generation Capacity (RGC)*

Longer Term – Factors Affecting Asset Growth (IHG)

Koval Bros. Case Farm DOA ( ≤ 24 (55 – 60% sexed semen) 24 hrs.  4 mos.  *Adapted from Farm Credit’s Business Consultants’

Heifer Management Index

23 ± 2.5 mos. SD (& 82 – 85% Mature Wt.)



Jason Karszes Farm Management Specialist PRO-DAIRY Cornell University Cathy Wickswat Farm Management/Dairy Extension Educator Cornell Cooperative Extension Rensselaer County

Goal of The Replacement Program

The primary goal of all heifer programs is to raise the highest quality heifer who will maximize profits once she enters the lactating herd. A quality heifer is one carrying no limitations into the dairy herd that would hinder her ability to produce under the farm’s management system. Profits are maximized by obtaining the quality heifer at the lowest possible cost.

Assessment of Current Operation

• • Need to have information to use in making decisions If not measuring, can’t evaluate or track current performance or changes • Two key areas – Quality of replacement – Cost of replacement

Quality of The Replacement

• What is the current status of replacement program • Replacement Heifer Management Snapshot – How do you compare to goals – Which areas may provide the most opportunity – What do you think should be worked on first

Quality of The Replacement

• 1st Calf Heifers “Treated” as Calf/Heifer* 24 hrs.  3 mos. ____, 4 mos.  ≤30% fresh ____ • DOAs in first calf heifers ≤9% Male DOAs. ____, Female DOAs ____ • 1st Calf avg. peak Calf lactation total yield ≥80% of Mature or 1st ≥80% of Mature • • • • • 1st Calf Culls ≤ 60 Days in Milk 1st Calf ME’s 1st Calf “Treated” in Lactation* 85% retention (any herd) to 2nd lactation ≤5% ≥Mature ≤15% ≥85% Lower #1 reason for 1st lactation culls (continuous improvement

Cost of The Replacement

• • • What are your costs to raise the replacement?

Are there limitations within the replacement system that are impacting quality and/or costs?

Developing a better understanding of the replacement system

Cost of The Replacements

• • • Estimating/Tracking different areas – Feed – Labor – Housing – The full system Data collection worksheets in materials Spreadsheets available at????

What next

• • • Once you have identified quality issues and measured costs, can start moving through a decision making process Series of questions to think about Homework to answer some of the questions

Decision Process

• • What changes do you need to make to improve the quality of the heifer?

– Management changes • • Different inputs Additional inputs – New investment • Facilities • Equipment From today’s presentations

Decision Process

• What impact will these changes to improve the quality of the replacement have on costs to raise the replacement?

– Feed – Labor – Housing – Other

Decision Process

• Can you make changes to maintain the current quality of the replacement and lower costs to raise?

– Management – – Feed Labor – – Facilities Equipment

Decision Process

• What other options do you have to improve the quality of replacement or the costs to raise – Multiple options should be considered – Role of custom heifer raising

Decision Process

• Custom Heifer Growing Services – What is available – – What is the cost What is the quality being produced – How could it fit with the dairy • 0-5 months of age • • • 5 months to checked pregnant Checked pregnant to close-up Excess animals beyond the current capacity of the replacement system

Decision Process

• What is the best use of limited resources – Only have so much available • • • Labor Management Capital – Where is the best place to invest?

Decision Process

• • • • What are other things that could be done within the dairy to improve overall profitability – Crop production – Dairy production Overall business assessment Mission Statement 5-10 year strategic plan

Going Home Today

• Think about the following three questions – How much can the dairy bottom line be improved by improving the quality/cost of raising dairy replacements?

– Is there other areas within the farm, if focused on, would have a larger impact than focusing on the replacements – If focus on the replacements, what would the order of priority be for changes?

Special Thanks

• • Thank you for attending today Special thanks for the case farms – For taking time to be here today – For taking time over the last 3 months to look at their replacement program – For being “under the microscope”