Two heads are better than one: A starter guide to pairing dairy calves
This series is a seven-part starter guide for pairing or group-housing pre-weaned dairy calves. Throughout this guide, we cover best practices to promote good health and welfare in calves raised in pairs or small groups.
All articles within the guide are meant to printed out and kept together as a series. The red tabs on the sides of the documents help readers flip to the section of interest.
Parts 1, 3, and 7 of the guide can be downloaded below. The remaining articles will be published throughout Fall, 2020. For summaries of the topics those articles will cover, please refer to the first article.
2. Benchmarks for calf health before pair housing
4. Options for housing pairs or groups
5. Grouping strategies
6. Feeding practices and reducing cross sucking
This guide was created by Jennifer Van Os, PhD, with contributions from:
- Sarah Adcock, PhD, Department of Animal & Dairy Sciences, UW-Madison
- Joao Costa, PhD, Department of Animal & Food Sciences, University of Kentucky
- Courtney Halbach, MBA, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison
- Tina Kohlman, MS, UW-Madison Extension Fond du Lac County
- Emily Miller-Cushon, PhD, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida
- Theresa Ollivett, DVM, PhD, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, UW-Madison
- Sandy Stuttgen, DVM, UW-Madison Extension Taylor County
- Starter guide to pairing dairy calves. Jennifer Van Os. Wisconsin Agriculturist. November, 2020.
- Two heads are better than one: A starter guide to pairing dairy calves. Jennifer Van Os. Wisconsin State Farmer. November, 2020.
- Appropriate alternatives reduce cross sucking. Jennifer Van Os and Rekia Salter. Agri-View. September, 2020.
- For dairy calves, two (or more) heads are better than one. Jennifer Van Os, Rekia Salter, and Kim Reuscher. Calf-Tel’s Calf Corner. July, 2020.
- Pairing dairy calves using hutches for housing. Jennifer Van Os. Wisconsin State Farmer. April, 2020.
- For dairy calves, two (or more) heads are better than one. Jennifer Van Os. Wisconsin State Farmer. November, 2019.
- For calves, two – or more – heads are better than one. Jennifer Van Os. Dairy’s Bottom Line. October, 2019.
Multimedia and press coverage
TV interviews and video profiles
- Calves and group housing. Shelly Mayer. Discussion with Jennifer Van Os & Theresa Ollivett. PDPW’s The Dairy Signal. August 4, 2020. (1:00:44; video and audio-only options)
- Experts share best calf care practices with local dairy producers. Katerina Vergara. Video and article on interview with Jennifer Van Os. WEAU 13 News. November 20, 2019. (2:16)
- Calf Chat with Ann – Current Calf Research. Ann Hoskins. Video interview with Jennifer Van Os & Kim Reuscher. Vita Plus Starting Strong. July 17, 2019. (6:55)
Radio interviews and podcasts
- Calves and group housing. Shelly Mayer. Discussion with Jennifer Van Os & Theresa Ollivett. PDPW’s The Dairy Signal. August 4, 2020. (1:00:44; audio-only and video options)
- Benefits of Pair or Group Calf Housing. Josh Scramlin. Radio interview with Jennifer Van Os. Mid-West Farm Report-Madison. January 24, 2020. (8:28)
- Social housing for calves. Bob Middendorf. Radio interview with Jennifer Van Os. WGLR 97.7. March 19, 2019. (9:46)
Print and online articles
- Research explores benefits of pair & group calf housing. Elizabeth Larson. California Dairy Magazine. September, 2020.
- Group housing could improve calf welfare. Taylor Leach. Dairy Herd Management. September 4, 2020.
- Pair-housing benefits calves. Lynn Grooms. Agri-View. May 21, 2020.
- There are ways to curtail cross sucking. Abby Bauer. Hoard’s Dairyman Intel. May 4, 2020.
- Paired calf housing improves learning. Maggie Gilles. Hoard’s Dairyman. February 14, 2020.
- Winter workshops focus on animal welfare, calf care. Jerry Nelson. Dairy Star. January 27, 2020.
- Van Os explains benefits of social calf housing. Danielle Nauman. Dairy Star. December 23, 2019.
- A look at calf welfare from multiple angles. Heifer Notes, Dairy Calf & Heifer Association. Quarter 4, 2019.
- The business of raising calves. John Oncken. Wisconsin State Farmer. April 16, 2019.