Calves at Hogendoorn dairy enter individual housing with a rail feeder at about one week of age.

Lots of options for automated calf feeding

Calves on two farms started differently before moving to individual rail feeding

Reading Time: 3 minutes Producers have options when it comes to managing calves while using automated feeders, whether the animals are in group housing or individual housing. Why it matters: There are many different ways to manage calves through the same feeding system – what’s important is the calves are healthy and growing well. At Hogendoorn Dairy and Markvale […] Read more

Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves.

Preconditioning gives calves better start when entering feedlots

Calves that are properly vaccinated, given protein-rich feed and taught to use a waterer before leaving home tend to better manage feedlot stress

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bovine respiratory disease is the leading cause of sickness and death in newly received feedlot calves. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure for these youngsters that may be immuno-compromised after weaning and transportation. “When you look at the entire North American feedlot industry this disease alone and the losses associated with […] Read more

Farmers will have to examine how practical it is on their farms to provide several feedings of cow transition milk to their youngest calves.

Calves benefit from mother’s post-colostrum milk

University of Guelph study identifies ‘bio-actives’ in days two to four of lactation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Taking newborn calves completely off colostrum after one or two feedings may contribute to future health challenges, according to as-yet-unpublished research by the University of Guelph’s Department of Animal Physiology. Instead, explained Associate Professor Dr. Michael Steele in the annual webinar series of the US-based Dairy Cattle Welfare Council (DCWC), it might be advisable to […] Read more

Calves with strong suckling reflex are 41 times more likely to consume enough colostrum soon after birth.

Producers should ensure calves suckle quickly after birth

Dystocia increases the chances that a calf will nurse on its own so producers may have to intervene

Reading Time: < 1 minute If it sucks, that’s a good thing — when it comes to newborn calves. It’s so good, in fact, that newborns with a good suckle reflex are 41 times more likely to consume colostrum on their own compared to calves with a weak suckle reflex. Dr. Craig Dorin of Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta., […] Read more

A pair of calves try out the solid feed in the group housing barn at Bolton Manor Holsteins, operated by the Jackson family near Thamesford.

Choosing calf housing options

Dairy Focus: There are strengths to both individual and group housing facilities for calves

Reading Time: 6 minutes Individual housing in hutches remains “the gold seal for health,” said a dairy farmer who recently switched to group housing for calves. But he insists the health drawbacks are manageable, and made the switch anyway for other reasons. “Labour savings? Big plus. Animal welfare? Big plus,” declared Oxford County’s Thomas Jackson, who moved his calves […] Read more


Beef Farmers of Ontario designs profitability calculator

Calculator will estimate cow-calf producer finances based on herd and production practices

Reading Time: < 1 minute Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) has recently launched a cost of production calculator to help Ontario beef farmers determine how much they spend to produce their cattle. Production practices on Ontario beef farms vary significantly, and that means nailing down cost of production has been difficult. Creating useful numbers has been challenging and historically have […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder cattle market holding value

Reading Time: 2 minutes Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling prices were steady to as much as $4 higher while calf values traded within $5 on either side of unchanged. Current feedlot margins are hovering around break-even, but profitability will improve during October and November, given the recent strength in the deferred live cattle futures. Therefore, short-keep feeders […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder market eyes feed grain prices

Reading Time: 2 minutes Compared to last week, western Canadian yearling markets were $4 on either side of unchanged and the market was quite variable across the Prairies. Strength was noted early in the week but feedlot operators pulled in the reins on Thursday and Friday. Strength in the barley market along with lower feeder cattle prices south of […] Read more


Klassen: Feeder market stabilizes on lower supplies

Reading Time: 2 minutes Compared to last week, western Canadian feeder cattle prices were unchanged to $2 higher on average. Feeder cattle markets appear to have divorced from the fed cattle complex and calves are now reaching levels not seen since November last year. Feedlot operators were fairly aggressive on all weight categories under 900 lbs., but heavier yearlings […] Read more