Practical and simple on-farm management changes to improve the health and welfare of dairy and veal calves are the focus of this year’s Healthy Calf Conference.
“We asked calf raisers what some of the biggest issues are that they’re facing and they told us that feeding, health and housing top the list – so we’ve got a great line up of speakers this year that will address all of those topics,” says Kendra Keels, Director of Industry Development with Veal Farmers of Ontario.
Dr. Michael Ballou, a professor of nutritional immunology at Texas Tech University, headlines the program with a presentation on the art of calf nutrition and how feeding calves a proper diet can help minimize or prevent common problems like respiratory disease and scours.
A new addition to the Healthy Calf Conference is a calf care panel. Ontario calf managers Jayne Dietrich of Character Dairy Genetics, Laura Shuurman with Joe Loewith & Sons Ltd, and Emily De Benetti of Oxford Cattle Company will offer virtual tours of their operations and share their tips for reducing calf mortality and raising high production animals.
The University of Guelph’s Dr. Trevor DeVries will address the why, when and how of group housing calves, and Dr. Dave Renaud, a consultant and University of Guelph assistant professor, will discuss how managing calf health and working with a herd veterinarian can ensure future profitability of a dairy herd.
“Our program is designed to offer relevant, easy to use information that conference participants can take back to implement on-farm right away,” says Keels.
The Healthy Calf Conference, which also includes a calf-focused trade show, will be held on November 27 at the Best Western Plus Arden Park Hotel in Stratford, and again on November 29 at the Maxville & District Sports Complex in Maxville, from 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. Cost is $90 per person until November 1 and $100 after that date. A student rate of $40 is also available. A hot buffet lunch, proceedings, and calf care resources are included. The first 90 producers to register also receive a free 3.7L Caf-Tel Bottle – perfectly sized for colostrum feeding!.
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