Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dairy Science


In order to be profitable, a dairy herb must have good heifers to meet replacement needs. According to USDA (51), these needs are substantial because 25% of the cows in an average herd must be replaced each year as they no longer return a profit. Meeting these herd replacement needs has long been a serious problem of the dairyman. Nation-wide calf loss estimates ranged between 8 and 25% with an estimated annual loss to the industry of $50 million (10). South Dakota dairymen are not immune to these mortality losses and some studies (28, 52) indicate that their losses may be higher than the national averages. The fluctuating climate of the upper Midwest is such that an adequate housing system design to meet calf needs is hard to define. Previous preliminary studies at South Dakota State University showed some advantage of rearing calves in individual portable outside pens rather than in the conventional enclosed calf barn used by most dairymen in the state. This study was initiated to determine some of the advantage an outdoor rearing system held over the conventional indoor rearing system, and to determine the most economical and most efficient age to wean a calf from whole milk, whether it be in an indoor or outdoor system.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Calves -- Feeding and feeds


Includes bibliographical references (pages 74-78)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted

Included in

Dairy Science Commons