Having properly trained employees is critical for the health, growth and development of dairy calves and for the profitability and sustainability of a dairy farm. A new series of resources is available through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide training in calf management including; newborn calf care, colostrum management, animal handling, automatic calf feeder management and hygiene and sanitation. Each of the videos are less than 3 minutes in length, utilizing video demonstration of on farm practices to emphasize key calf management practices.
“Employees who manage calves should thoroughly understand why and how to test colostrum, importance of low stress handling and proper nutrition from birth, and hygiene for health and future animal performance” says Jennifer Bentley, ISU Extension & Outreach Dairy Field Specialist. “Long-term, these training resources will provide better training and understanding of calf care, increased employee engagement and retention, better calf performance and increased farm profitability,” Bentley noted.
Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award Number 2015-49200-24226.
Below is a list of the videos available in English and Spanish. All the videos are included in the link below.
Newborn Calf Care
- Passive Immunity
- Processing newborn calves
- Harvest and storage of colostrum
- Evaluation of colostrum quality
- Recommended colostrum feeding techniques
- Proper us of an esophageal feeder
- Evaluating protein absorption from colostrum
- Importance of hygiene
- Monitoring cleanliness of the calf kitchen
- Importance of Low-Stress Handling
- Determining flight zone & Defining Point of Balance
- Handling newborn calves
- Heat and cold stress
- Transportation and moving calves
Automatic Calf Feeders
- Automatic calf feeder management
- Group housing facilities
- Nutrition & health considerations
- Cleaning and sanitation of automatic calf feeders