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the calves’ diets with Aureo S-700 crumbles after weaning.
“This helps aid in the stress of weaning and group hous
ing,” said Moyer.
Once the calves move into groups of 14 and reached three
months old, they are moved to a neighboring farm. Shortly
before they leave the neighboring farm to return to the
owner, Moyer vaccinates the calves with a nine-way vac
Higher Levels Of Protein Improve Performance
Shortly after the calves arrive at Moyer’s farm, he starts
them on a 20 percent protein calf starter. When they reach
three months old, the calves are fed a 18 percent protein calf
grower and alfalfa hay that tests between 20 and 24 percent
According to Moyer, feeding the calves more protein
helps them perform better. Since Moyer is paid on a per
pound basis, higher performance levels benefit both the
farmer who owns the calves and Moyer.
Clean And Dry Environment Essential To Health
Moyer’s three favorite health products are fresh air, fresh
water, and fresh straw. “A lot of farmers raising calves and
heifers rely on antibiotics and ignore the best three health
Moyer cleans the hutches and pens out daily and always
uses fresh, dry straw. He discourages visitors for biosecurity
reasons and to keep foreign diseases away from the calves.
“I have a responsibility to my clients for the welfare of
their animals,” said Moyer. “My operation has the benefits
of a closed herd because I don’t allow strangers to come onto
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Quality Heifer Care Delivers High Producers
Tim Saber is a farmer in Chambersburg who raises 300 to
400 heifers a year and then leases them out to dairy farmers
located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.
He started raising heifers five years after his family
stopped milking cows on their 400-acre farm in 1989. Once
he tried raising beef animals for five years, Saber found that
raising dairy heifers was more profitable. Saber is in part
nership with his two uncles.
Currently Saber has 600 dairy cows leased out to area
farmers. The animals are leased on a three-year agreement.
The farmer is required to put a deposit down on the ani
mals, then pay Saber a monthly fee based on the current
milk prices. The farmer then pays a small buyout at the end
of the three years.
“I didn’t have the money or the labor to put into starting
a new dairy operation, and we had the facilities to make
money at something without putting up a pile of money,”
said Saber. “It’s better for the dairy producer to lease the
animals because the price they would pay to buy one cow
would cover the deposit to lease six animals from me.”
Saber purchases his calves at the Greencastle Livestock or
from neighboring dairy farmers. He also contract raises
heifers and dry cows for an area farmer. He follows Penn
field’s heifer feeding plan for the calves and introduces
forages into the ration after they are properly started.
Like Moyer, Saber’s mortality rate averages around one
percent. Since Moyer gave advice on raising calves until five
months old, Saber’s advice will focus on heifers six months
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