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Calf Nutrition & Management - 2 Days Old to Weaning...

Rearing Heifers

A calf should be fed milk until at least 35 days old.

Milk replacers have two main benefits over whole milk which are:

• Balance of vitamins and minerals

• Reduced disease risk

The mixing of calf milk replacer must be done correctly to get the best performance out of the milk. Make sure the powder is weighed accurately, to the correct ratio and mix at 40°C, no hotter!! Then feed the milk at 37°C. After 35 days the quantity of milk fed can be adjusted to encourage concentrate intakes and prepare for weaning. The powder should be fed at 135g– 150g/litre (this is farm dependent so discuss with your sales representative and vet) depending on the ambient temperature and feed up to 3 litres per feed (depending on age and farm targets).

Offer a very palatable concentrate from day 3. The concentrate should be fed fresh daily, and the waste feed should be given to the older heifers.

Fresh water must be available clean, adlib, ideally lukewarm as soon as possible, but definitely once hard feed if offered.

Use calf jackets when ambient temperature is <10°C and calves are <4 weeks age at least. Check amount of bedding used for nesting score and increase if jackets are not provided.



Calves should be housed individually or in pairs for up to 3 weeks. From 3 weeks to weaning they can be housed in small groups of 5 – 10 calves. Calves should be moved into groups as soon as possible as it encourages intakes.

Once the calves are settled in groups, dehorning and castration can take place at approximately 4 weeks of age. Avoid more than one stress at a time. Leave 7-10 days between challenges.

Example Feeding Milk Powder Advice (Discuss with your sales representative or vet):

Start at 2 litres twice a day at 150g/litre.

Over 10 days increase to 3 litres twice a day at 150g/litre.

At 5 weeks old, decrease to 5 litres daily at 150g/litre.

• 2 days later 4 litres daily at 150g/litre

• 2 days later 3 litres daily at 150g/litre

• 2 days later 2 litres daily at 150g/litre

• 2 days later 1 litre daily at 150g/litre

2 days later off milk if eating at least 2kg of concentrate average per head in the group.

Example Feeding Whole Milk Advice (Discuss with your sales representative or vet):

If feeding whole milk, follow a regime along the lines of:

• Start with 2 litres twice daily after 4 days colostrum.

• Over 10 days increase to 4 litres twice daily.

• At 5 weeks start to decrease milk – 2.5 litres twice daily for 3 days, then 2 litres twice daily.

• At 6 weeks reduce to 1 litre twice daily for 3 days, then 1 litre once daily.

• Ideally calves should be eating at least 2kg concentrate per head per day.

• Consider pasteurisation of milk at 60C for 60 mins to minimise some disease risks.


Product Recommendation...

DN Pro Skim Calf Milk

  • Pro Skim Calf Milk has been developed to provide your young stock with high quality milk protein of excellent digestibility to optimise growth and development.

  • You can be confident that when feeding DN Progressive Calf Milk, your calves are benefiting from the very latest technologies, high quality ingredients, extensive research and calf nutrition knowledge.

  • Improve Feed Utilisation

  • Support gut health and performance

  • Balanced amino acid technology to meet calf requirements with efficient protein use.

  • Essential fatty acids to support the immune system and promote optimal bodyweight gain, structural growth and feed efficiency.

If you require further information on Calf Nutrition & Management, then please speak to your local DN Sales Specialist or call Dugdale Nutrition on 01200 420200.

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