Focusing on the First 24 Hours of a Dairy Calf's Life

The first 24 hours of a calf's life can significantly influence its longevity and productivity in the herd. This 2017

Michigan State University Extension

dairy winter program is designed for dairy farm owners, herd managers and agribusiness professionals to learn about the latest research and strategies to improve long-term health and growth of dairy replacements from the first day.

Newborn calves must consume ample quantities of high quality colostrum shortly after birth to ensure successful passive transfer. The meeting will focus on the dam's ability to produce high quality colostrum based on vaccination protocols during the dry period. Other colostrum quality factors to be highlighted are timing of colostrum harvest (first milking), avoiding bacterial contamination and timely storage of colostrum.

Managing the maternity pen to minimize stress for the cow and to provide a clean environment for the calf and the dam will be reviewed. Ways to reduce stillbirths will be discussed including genetic selection and appropriate intervention during calving. Techniques for handling the newborn calf to minimize any additional stress following birth will be discussed. Special considerations for handling calves during the winter will be covered.

Dates and Locations:

  • January 24

    St. Johns (Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer)
  • January 26

    West Branch (Forward Conference Center)
  • January 31

    Hamilton (Trestle Stop)
  • February 14

    Falmouth (Falmouth Community Center)
  • February 15

    Hillsdale (Hillsdale Co.


    Extension Office)
  • February 16

    Bad Axe (Franklin Inn)

Meeting times for all locations are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

View the full

registration details at the


Extension website

For more details or questions about registration, please contact Nicole Walker at 989-224-5241 or

[email protected], or your area


Extension dairy educator.