Veterinarian says good calf care requires getting the little things right


Veterinarian says good calf care requires getting the little things right

A veterinarian says the basics for calf care haven’t changed. Dr. Scott Earnest from Lodi Veterinary Care in Wisconsin says, “The fundamentals of calf care haven’t changed. It’s colostrum. It’s calories. It’s cleanliness. It’ consistency.”

Earnest talked with farmers about managing calves and ways to execute those fundamentals during a recent Professional Dairy Producers calf care workshop.  Earnest tells Brownfield there is no magic bullet with managing calves, colostrum, and the people involved in a farm’s calf program.  He says it’s doing the little things right over and over. “You’ve got to start with establishing what those goals are, making sure everybody involved understands them, and they need to know what you expect out of them and how you’re going to evaluate the work that they do. If they don’t know what your definition of success is going to be, it’s going to be harder for them to achieve it.”

Earnest says good record-keeping is essential for animal health, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. “If you take the time to keep some records and talk about what your goals are, and what you’re actually seeing happen, you can make sure that everybody who’s involved in your calf program is performing at the level you want them to.”

Earnest says recording what tasks are done when, and who is doing them helps locate calf health challenges and what can be done about them.