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Do You Measure Up?

October 15, 2009
By: Anna McBrayer, Editor

Do you meet the Gold Standard performance expectations from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association?

I. Mortality

A. Given that some calves are born with a heartbeat and breathing yet die not long after birth, the age of 24 hours shall be used to distinguish between "dead on arrival” (stillbirth) and "calf mortality.”

B. All newborn calves should be placed in an environment that will be safe from adult animals and adult animal diseases.

C. Every newborn calf should receive care to its naval to control infection.

D. Target mortality rates are:

1. 24 hours to 60 days of age: <5%

2. 61-120 days of age: <2%

3. 121-180 days of age: <1%

II. Morbidity

A. Defining scours as a case of diarrhea which requires any intervention for more than 24 hours, target morbidity rates are:

1. 24 hours to 60 days of age: <25%

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