Learning Center


Hanke family rebuilds calf facility after devastating fire

Family teamwork and industry research essential in helping family build a quality calf-raising facility. Four generations and counting, perseverance and hard work comes quite naturally to Hanke Farms Inc. in Sheboygan Falls. This dedication to agriculture has helped the Hanke family to build a thriving 720-cow dairy – and to rebuild quickly after a devastating fire.

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Three tips to prepare calf housing for warm weather

Managing calf facilities in summer can be challenging, but preparing for the challenges before the hot weather hits can ensure your calves remain as healthy and comfortable as possible. Areas to evaluate include bedding, ventilation and nutrition.

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Calf hutch maker’s products evolve to meet changing farm demands

Calf management ideas and recommended protocols have advanced significantly over the last 30 years, as have the calf housing products made by Calf-Tel. Hampel, a contract thermoformer, located in Germantown, first introduced the Calf-Tel hutch in 1981.Through Hampel’s proximity to Wisconsin farms, there was a company awareness of existing wood and fiberglass calf housing products, and of course a strong company background in the benefits of products made with thermoformed plastic.

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Calf-Tel ECO Hutch

The ECO hutch is another industry first by Calf-Tel designed to meet the needs of the largest dairies and calf raisers, while also providing a highly engineered cost effective option.

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Strategic Vision, Process Innovations Propel Thermoformer’s Rise

The last few years for Hampel Corporation have been marked by expansions of its facilities and staff; two consecutive years of double digit sales growth; and a strategic realignment that has refocused the company's energies on its core competencies and manufacturing excellence. And while Hampel is building its presence in growing, emerging markets throughout the world, exporting to Russia, China, New Zealand, and Australia, the company is also committed to participating in emerging industries, such as renewable energy.

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Prepare your calf housing for winter

Use these tips to get your calf housing ready for winter. Before you know it our Wisconsin winter will be in full swing. But before the snow starts to fly it’s important to evaluate your calf housing to make sure it’s ready for the cold.

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Is your calf housing ready for warm weather?

Use this checklist to help your calves beat the heat this summer. Like many things in life, the key to success is being prepared. Getting your calf housing ready for summer is no different. Strategic planning today can ensure your calf raising program doesn’t skip a beat as the summer heat sets in.

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Calf housing - the success of your herd starts here

Like all newborns, calves need a special environment to grow and thrive. Different considerations must be taken for newborn calves, but they still need special attention.

Despite the fact that calves are the future of every herd, calf housing is often an overlooked area or a second thought. It is not uncommon to see farms trying to convert a facility that was once used to house the milking herd or a shed into a calf housing facility.

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Make calf hutch sanitation a top priority

Like human babies, newborn calves are born with little defense against diseases which can make them sick. To help protect these young calves and keep them healthy and growing, start them out in a clean, dry environment.

Calf housing, no matter what material, should be cleaned and sanitized between each calf. Depending on your farm’s calf weaning program this could be every six to eight weeks. Here is a look at the steps to follow when cleaning your calf housing.

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Building a Foundation for your Dairy’s Future

Calves are the most valuable future assets on a dairy, but too often get thrown into poorly ventilated, poorly lit and poorly designed facilities. The temporary, makeshiftretrofit turns into a permanent problem, and "poof", calf health takes a dramatic hit, leaving the producer asking, "What went wrong?"
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A Message from the Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) President Lewis Anderson.

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Progressive Dairyman's 3 open minutes with Calf-Tel on new calf raising standards for Holstein calves from birth to 6 months old.

The Dairy Calf and Heifer Association (DCHA) recently announced new calf raising standards for Holstein calves from birth to 6 months old. Progressive Dairyman Editor Walt Cooley discussed the development and industry impact of the new standards with DCHA President and Calf-Tel National Sales Manager Calf Management Consultant Lewis Anderson.
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Consistency is key with newborn calves

A challenge that dairy producers face with their newborn calves is consistency, says Calf–Tel calf–care specialist Lewis Anderson. Anderson has more than 30 years of extensive calf–raising and management experience. He recommends developing a standard operating procedure or SOP to achieve consistency with your calves. Here are some points to include in an SOP:
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Choosing the Best Calf Housing

Whether you’re raising calves indoors or out, there are several commonly accepted fundamental elements that remain the same: comfort, separation, ventilation, health and bio-security, ease of use and economy. You can have the latest system available but if these fundamentals are not met – your success rate will suffer. There are numerous housing options available: wood, metal, fiberglass, plastic and high-density polyethylene, to name a few. The housing system you use can have a huge impact on your calf management. With so many options available, choosing the right one can be difficult. The last thing you want is to invest in a housing system that does not work for you. To help make the right decision, look at the fundamental calf-raising elements and rate each system’s ability to help you achieve success in each of these areas.
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The Western Dairyman

20 Acres of Calves at Joseph Gallo Farms
The harvest of dairy genetics is a nonstop process at Joseph Gallo Farms, where a calf is born every 32 minutes.
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“A lot of companies offer some unique product features, but they don’t meet our needs as well as Calf-tel. No matter what your feeding or housing style, whether you bucket feed or bottle feed, whether you have a fenced area or tethered animals, Calf-tel can respond to your specific application needs.” For Anderson, there’s no better choice than Calf-tel. “To people who say they can’t afford them, they should know that they’ll have healthier calves and better production in the milk barn.” read more /customer/indoor.php

When calves raised in isolation are placed in larger groups, there can be a set-back in health and weight due to competition for food and social pressure. The larger MultiMax hutches offer the ability to house four to six calves at a time, helping to ease the weaning process from individual hutches to group environments. Schnelle owns eight such units “We’ve been very happy with the Multi-Max hutches. In a smaller group, the calves don’t have to compete with each other and that makes the transition from single hutch to group environment much easier.” read more


Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Gold Standards

Production and performance standards established for Holstein calves, from birth to 6 months of age, across the United States. Download DCHA Gold Standards

Dairy Calf & Heifer Association (DCHA)- Mission Statement

Dairy Calf & Heifer Association

Heifer growers partnering with allied industry and acedemia dedicated to growing high quaility dairy replacement heiferss.

Heifer Tips are seen bimonthly in Dairy Herd Managment's Calf and Hiefer Advisor and archived on the DCHA Web site.


Calf Notes.com is copyrighted by Dr. Jim Quigley, and is your source for pertinent, non-commercial and unbiased information on raising young dairy calves. http://www.calfnotes.com

Calf Note #56 – Benefits of Calf Hutches for Housing Young Dairy Calves by Dr. Jim Quigley
Calf hutches are one of the most effective management practices for improving health and growth of calves prior to weaning. They have been used successfully for many years throughout the world, and remain one of the most popular options for housing calves in the U.S. Hutches provide isolation, a critical component of calf rearing prior to weaning. Prior to weaning, the calf's immune system is underdeveloped and less competent to deal with infectious pathogens. Consequently, preweaned calves are more susceptible to infectious organisms, and the rate of morbidity is especially high prior to weaning. Surveys throughout the world have identified the preweaning period as the one of greatest risk for dairy calves.
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