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Ensuring the health and welfare of dairy calves and heifers

Code: 9781838791636
Emily Miller-Cushon, University of Florida, USA; Ken Leslie and Trevor DeVries, University of Guelph, Canada

Chapter synopsis: Pre-weaning morbidity and mortality rates in dairy calves remain a challenge for dairy producers worldwide. Health challenges, along with housing and management, all have an impact on calf productivity and welfare. This chapter will review strategies for managing calving, improving calf vitality, successful colostrum feeding, prevention of neonatal disease, alleviation of pain during common procedures, provision of optimal housing, execution of accelerated feeding programmes, stress-free weaning, and maintenance of efficient rearing by optimal nutrition and housing of post-weaned dairy heifers. In each of these areas of emphasis, numerous recent advances will be presented. However, hurdles and bottlenecks to achieving meaningful improvements in the success of heifer-rearing programmes, particularly as they relate to calf welfare, will also be described and discussed.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2016.0006.07
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Newborn calf vitality 3 Colostrum management 4 Health management 5 Housing considerations 6 Feeding management 7 Managing weaned calves 8 Summary 9 Where to look for further information 10 References

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