Healthy calves keep the barn full.
Consultant: Alyssa Dietrich
- Expanded the herd to 300 cows in 2015
- Focusing on the calves diets and gut health to support a growing herd
Switching to a 22.5:20 milk replacer provided better nutrition, leading to healthier calves
Since the first 25 cows arrived in 1952, Way-Har Farms has continued to grow and evolve. William Lesher, and his wife Lolly, expanded the herd most recently in 2015 to 300 cows and built a new free stall. In order to keep their new barn full, calf and heifer health and growth has become a higher priority.
In 2016, Cargill calf and heifer specialist Alyssa Dietrich began making monthly visits to the farm, working with William and the calf manager to lay out a nutrition plan and help develop protocols that would decrease the number of calves the farm was losing. Alyssa switched the feeding program to an Early Calf 22.5:20 Milk Replacer, providing better nutrition, leading to healthier calves. “The early calf product is specifically designed to promote gut health, which is an issue they were dealing with in their calves,” says Alyssa. She also helped the team develop standard cleaning procedures for the mixing and feeding equipment, which has helped improve overall calf health. “The calves are watched very closely,” the calf manager continues, “I trust Alyssa’s advice for our animals.”
When asked what gives him satisfaction about his dairy, William simply and profoundly responded, “I like seeing my cows and my farm doing really, really well.” And that’s what his team at Cargill is helping them do.