Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How do you measure the success of the calf enterprise 
on your farm?
I am at the national meeting of the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
At my session this morning on calf wellness the speaker reported briefly on a little survey he did in Wisconsin in December, 2013 and January 2014. This year at that time the weather was extremely cold. About one hundred farms responded to his questionnaire. The farms ranged in size from 40 to 240 milking cows.  The range in calf caregivers was from 2 to 6 (including both full and part-time workers).
About one-half of the farms in this very cold weather were feeding calves 3 times a day and the other half were feeding twice daily. 

He also asked,"How to you measure success on your farm?" (implied in this context was the success of the calf enterprise)

The answers were ranked in order of frequency of response:

1. Weaning weight
2. Death loss
3. Treatments
4. 5-6 month weight
5. Calf starter intake (concentrate)

Interesting responses. I must admit I was surprised to see weaning weight ranked as first. I expected death loss to hold that position.

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