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High Production Starts At Calfhood
Lancaster Farming Staff
With so many things to worry about, farmers often forget
that a healthy cow begins at calfhood. Proper vaccination
schedules, balanced feed rations, and well-designed facili
ties all play a role in producing quality replacements.
With more and more dairy herds expanding, dairy farm
ers are looking at contracting heifer care out to area farm
ers. Here are two local farmers who specialize in raising
high performing heifer replacements.
Quality Care Essential For Young Calves
Glenn Moyer of Montgomery County specializes in rais
ing calves from just days after they’re born to about five
After purchasing a small farm called Westfield Lane
Farm in 1985, Moyer quickly realized that he didn’t have
the land to produce forages. Evaluating his assets and look
ing to marketing his skills in calf care, he began raising
calves for area dairy farmers in 1995.
Today Moyer raises 1,200 calves a year for five dairy
farmers located in Berks, Chester, Lancaster, and Lebanon
Counties. According to Moyer, he can provide the attention
Tim Saber is a farmer who turned to raising heif
ers after going out of the dairy business in the late
80’s. Once they freshen, he leases his quality ani
mals out to dairy producers in Pennsylvania, New
York, and Maryland.
Glenn Moyer raises 1,200 calves to five months
for five dairy farmers in the southeast Pennsylvania
region. He uses quality calf care to maintain a mor
tality rate of less than one pecent.
and care to calf care that too many dairy farmers no longei
have the time to do.
Thanks to his attention to detail, Moyer’s custom call
care facility touts a calf mortality rate of less than one per
cent. He hasn’t seen a case of scours on his facility in more
than three years, and calves leave Westfield Lane Farms
with a better start than they would get on most dairy farms.
Here are some of the calf care techniques Moyer employs.
Bottle Feeding Provides Healthy Start
Moyer feeds more than 150 calves twice a day with bottles
because he feels that bottle feeding improves digestion anc
causes less infection than bucket feeding.
“The bottle requires the calf to arch her neck in such £
way that it closes the esophageal groove,” said Moyer. “I
also keeps the calf from gulping too quickly and stimulates
the production of saliva, which includes an enzyme that aids
To increase the energy level provided to each calf, Moyei
uses 8.8 ounces of a 20/20 all-milk milk replacer instead c
the recommended 8 ounces.
“We also use one percent more powder for every degn
the temperature falls below 32°,” said Moyer. “This allov
us to get the same performance from our calves during tl
winter time as during the summer.”
Vaccinations Protect Against Diseases
Shortly after the calves arrive at the farm, Moyer vacc
nates them for early-calfhood vaccines, such as clostridiun
H. somus, pasturella H N, and Nasalgen. He also topdress<