Visually estimating a calf’s weight is easy, but is it good enough? A demonstration at the Leading Dairy Producers Conference showed how using a digital platform scale can be a worthwhile investment in a heifer-raising program.
Purina Animal Nutrition conducted an informal survey to compare visual weight estimates to measurements taken with a digital platform scale. More than 150 dairy farmers participated by providing their best estimates on the combined weight of two calves on display.
According to the scale, the combined weight of the calves was 810.7 pounds. However, visual estimates ranged from 443 to 1,488 pounds, with most dairy farmers overestimating.
Gary Geisler, calf and heifer specialist with Purina Animal Nutrition, led the demonstration. He shared with the group, “A digital platform scale is the ‘gold standard’ for collecting weights. It’s accurate and can help move your heifer-raising program forward by providing insights on opportunities in heifer nutrition, management or the environment.”
The demonstration marked the start of something new. By signing up to feed at least two of the three steps included in the Purina® AMPLI-CALF® Program (milk replacer, starter and grower feed), dairy farmers can receive a discount on a Digi-Star digital platform scale.
“Feeding a full potential diet is the first step of a successful heifer-raising program,” Geisler says. “However, you must follow-up with collecting data and reviewing heifer growth to make sure calves are reaching their full potential.”
With the help of a Purina calf and heifer specialist and a digital platform scale, dairy farmers can set-up their own benchmarking program in four easy steps:
- Gather baseline metrics
- Set goals
- Measure progress
- Calculate success
Start the new year off right with the AMPLI-CALF® Program and a digital platform scale. Contact your local Purina calf and heifer specialist to learn more about this special offer and other ways to maximize your heifer program.
For more information about the AMPLI-CALF® Program, go to: www.amplicalf.com.
Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.