Calf Cold Stress Monitor

Zip Code

Major Cold Stress = less than 10 degrees F.

Moderate Cold Stress = 10 to 34 degrees F.

Minor Cold Stress = 35 to 59 degrees F.

Animal performance is not guaranteed from the above estimates. Animal health, feeding methods, environment, and management will affect performance.

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Strategies to Combat Cold Stress

Feeding Strategies

1. Feed more total milk replacer solution per feeding.
2. Incorporate an extra feeding into the daily feeding schedule.
3. Add Milk Energizer fat supplement (60% fat) to the current feeding schedule.

Management Strategies

1. Feed ample amounts of high quality colostrum at birth to minimize disease challenges.
2. Make sure newborns are completely dry prior to exposure to cold temperatures.
3. Provide ample amounts of clean, dry bedding.
4. Provide a draft-free environment.
5. Consider calf jackets.
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Data Entry & Results

1. Enter a zip code for the locale one is interested in determining cold stress data.
2. Enter a historical date or use the current date.
3. Click or tap the 5 day History or 5 day Forecast button.
4. The website will show a 5 day history for any date (historical or current) but will only show a 5 day forecast for the current date.


1. Hourly temperatures for the 5 day period (either actual historical or projected forecast) will be retrieved from the weather service database and averaged for the inputted zip code.
2. Utilizing the calf growth model in the 2001 NRC Nutrient Requirements for Dairy Cattle publication,
a. the maintenance energy requirement for a 100 lb calf under thermoneutral conditions will be calculated.
b. the percentage increase in maintenance energy requirements based on the average hourly temperature for the time period will be used to calculate a maintenance energy requirement under cold stress conditions.
c. the difference in maintenance energy requirements between cold stress conditions and thermoneutral conditions will be calculated.
d. the ounces of Milk Energizer fat supplement (7% CP, 60% fat) needed to meet the difference in maintenance energy requirements due to cold stress will be calculated.


1. Maintenance energy requirements for the calf are to be met before any remaining energy can be utilized for growth.
2. The same growth or average daily gain is desired under cold stress conditions as under thermoneutral condititons by the current feeding program.
3. The example calf used in the calculations is 100 lb and less than 2 weeks old.
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