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2011 Calf-ETERIA Study. Benchmarking Ontario dairy calf raising practices & Opportunities for Improvement. Vivianne Bielmann Purina ROF Meeting March 22, 2012. Presentation Outline . What is Calf-ETERIA? About the project Calf and Heifer Management Survey Results

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2011 calf eteria study

2011 Calf-ETERIA Study

Benchmarking Ontario dairy calf raising practices & Opportunities for Improvement

Vivianne BielmannPurina ROF Meeting March 22, 2012

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • What is Calf-ETERIA?
    • About the project
  • Calf and Heifer Management Survey
    • Results
    • Opportunities for improvement
  • Project Status
calf eteria
Calf-ETERIA
  • Using CALF health and productivity as a template for an Evaluation of Translation and Extension of Research Information for Agriculture
what is calf eteria
What is Calf-ETERIA ?
  • A University of Guelph-OMAFRA Knowledge Translation and Transfer funded project.
  • Team Members:
    • Ken Leslie – Project Coordinator
    • Tom Wright – Project Co-Coordinator
    • Vivianne Bielmann – Project Manager
  • Trevor DeVries
  • Mario Mongeon
  • Brian Lang
  • Bill Grexton
  • Harold House
  • Mark Carson
  • Betty Summerhayes
  • Ian Rumbles
project objectives
Project Objectives
  • Benchmark current dairy calf and heifer management practices
  • Develop approaches to undertaking KTT initiatives to improve awarenessand encourage adoption of, known optimal management techniques to increase economic performance and health
  • Evaluate and quantify both the animal health and economic performance subsequent to their initial benchmark
  • Disseminate case-study based benefits of optimal management systems to demonstrate both financial and animal health improvements to all Ontario dairy producers through producer meetings and web-based media
3 ktt approaches
3 KTT Approaches
  • Calf and Heifer management clubs
    • Including interaction with veterinarians
  • Web-based KTT for BMP’s for calves & heifers
  • Control Group
expected benefits and impacts
Expected Benefits and Impacts

Benefits Ontario dairy producers from two key perspectives:

  • Economically – through reduced costs attributed to death losses, animal morbidity and associated treatment costs and reduction in compromised lifetime milk production losses, as a result of health problems encountered as a calf
  • Improved welfare of dairy calves and heifers - through increased survival rates and improved health-status
expected benefits and impacts1
Expected Benefits and Impacts
  • IMPACTS
    • To change and improve specific aspects about the management of calves and heifers on Ontario dairy farms
ontario calf and heifer management survey
Ontario Calf and Heifer Management Survey
  • Questions about calf and heifer management
    • From time of calving up until breeding age
  • Fairly long – 87 questions
  • 3,145 surveys were mailed out to dairy producers on DHI
    • The survey was also available online
  • 921 surveys were completed and returned by mail
  • 43 surveys were completed online
  • 30% response
calf care
Calf Care

**N=948**

**51.6% male, 21.5% female, 26.9% both**

cost of labour
Cost of Labour
  • Employee wages, for calf care, ranged from $5 /hour up to $25 /hour, depending on the farm
video surveillance use
Video Surveillance Use
  • 75 / 930 producers indicated that video surveillance is currently used to monitor cows in the calving area
  • Herd sizes of these 75 ranged from 28 cows up to 550 cows
separation technique
Separation Technique
  • Total Separation to Calf Housing  758 (81%)
  • Partial Separation using a tub or gate  98 (10%)
  • Other + Partial or Total separation  17 (2%)
  • Other  67 (7%)
    • Methods Used:
      • Moved to box stall/calf pens
      • Tied to corner of calving pen
      • Cow is removed from pen
      • Tied up alongside cows
      • Calf stays with cow for hours/until licked dry/up to 3 days
calving assistance
Calving Assistance
  • On average, how often was assistance required during a calving, in the past year?
    • Never  0.4%
    • Less than 10%  27%
    • 10 – 20%  41%
    • More than 20% of calvings  23.6%
    • Exact percentage  7.4%
      • Range: 1% - 98%
disinfecting navels
Disinfecting Navels
  • Is it routine practice to disinfect the navel of each newborn calf?
    • YES  38%
    • NO  62%

http://www.progressivedairy.com/features/2007/0107/0107

products administered shortly after birth
Products administered shortly after Birth

**N=950

N.B. – Percentages do not add up to 100%

colostrum feeding
Colostrum Feeding
  • What percentage of calves nurse the dam?
    • 0%  429
    • 1-10%  189
    • 11-30%  83
    • 31-50%  49
    • 60-90%  30
    • 91-100%  18
differences in volume of colostrum fed
Differences in Volume of Colostrum Fed
  • Weight 132
  • Calf’s Health Status  215
  • Sex of Calf  19
  • Let calf drink ‘at will’  7
  • Combination of 2 or more of the above  115
colostrum quality
Colostrum Quality
  • How many producers are checking colostrum quality?
    • 281/931  30%
  • How are they checking it?
    • Colour and/or consistency  72%(265/370)
    • Volume  19% (70/370)
    • Colostrometer 6% (23/370)
    • Refractometer  0.2% (1/370)
    • Laboratory  3% (11/370)
milk feeding1
Milk Feeding
  • How are calves being fed?
    • Bucket  37% (332/890)
    • Milk Bar  3% (22/890)
    • Nurse Bottle  29% (262/890)
    • Robot Milk Feeder  3% (27/890)
    • Other Free-Access feeding system  1% (12/890)
    • Combination of 2 or more  26% (235/890)
milk feeding2
Milk Feeding
  • How much is being fed daily in Week 1?
milk feeding3
Milk Feeding
  • How much is being fed daily in Week 4?
water
Water
  • At what age is fresh water offered to calves?
    • 0 – 5 days  23% (215/920)
    • 5 – 10 days  29% (268/920)
    • More than 10 days  30% (280/920)
    • Not until after weaning  17% (157/920)
grain
Grain
  • At what age is grain/starter introduced to calves?
    • 0 – 5 days 32% (299/940)
    • 5 – 10 days  46% (430/940)
    • 11 – 20 days  17% (162/940)
    • More than 20 days of age  5% (49/940)
  • Do calves have free-choice access to grain/starter?
    • 87%  YES
introduction of hay
Introduction of Hay
  • When are calves normally introduced to hay?
    • Less than 2 weeks of age  155
    • 2 – 4 weeks of age  195
    • 4 – 6 weeks of age  190
    • After weaning  20
recording information
Recording Information
  • What information is recorded on individual calves?
    • Nothing  60
    • ID info  911
    • Calving ease info  796
    • Stillbirth  806
    • Routine procedures  262
    • Calf disease events  371
    • Calf health treatments  463
    • Growth  62
    • Death after 24 hours  602
    • Weaning date  105
standard operating procedures
Standard Operating Procedures
  • Are SOP’s used for routine calf management procedures?
    • Yes, all procedures  18% (167/912)
    • Yes, only disease and treatment info  13% (123/912)
    • No  68% (622/912)
health problems pre weaning
Health Problems – Pre-weaning
  • 438 of producers ranked scours as a common (3 or 4 on a 1-4 point scale)
  • Respiratory disease was ranked as common by 216 producers
  • Navel ill, lameness and droopy ears are considered less common during this period
weaning
Weaning
  • How is the time of weaning decided?
    • Calf age  812
    • Calf weight  293
    • Starter/grain intake  454

*often this is a combination*

health problems post weaning
Health Problems – Post-weaning
  • 175 producers considered respiratory disease to be a common or very common health problem in post-weaned calves
vaccination
Vaccination
  • Are calves vaccinated for respiratory disease?
    • 47 % are vaccinating calves against respiratory disease
rations for heifers
Rations for Heifers
  • What type of ration are heifers fed?
    • Components  52% (455/868)
    • Top-dressed  22% (190/868)
    • TMR 26% (223/868)
cost of raising a heifer
Cost of Raising a Heifer
  • How much does it cost?
project status
Project Status
  • Management clubs
    • 4 locations – Tavistock, Listowel, Elmira and Kemptville
    • ~35-45 producers participating
    • Will be completed March 31st
  • Online modules
    • On-going
    • ~30 producers participating
next steps
Next Steps
  • Finish analyzing survey results
  • Follow-up with participants in the summer
  • Continue collecting data
    • DHI records
    • Follow-up
thank you
Thank You

www.calf-eteria.com