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Rearing Calves

18 AUGUST 2016



REARING CALVES INTO HEIFERS, STORES OR FINISHING CATTLE IS A MAJOR INVESTMENT IN TIME AND LABOUR. BY MAKING SURE EACH CALF RECEIVES THE BEST POSSIBLE TREATMENT AS A MATTER OF COURSE, THE AIM IS TO PRODUCE A STRONG, PRODUCTIVE AND PROFITABLE ANIMAL.


The 1st Few Days

• House calves individually to reduce transfer of pathogens • Feed no more than 1.5 litres of milk per feed for the first 4 days • Feed them 3 times a day at this stage if possible • Use milk powder rather than whole milk


Milk Powder Vs Whole Milk

• Cows milk has too high a fat to protein ratio • Cows milk is low magnesium, iron, vitamin E & selenium • Milk powder has a consistent composition • Milk powder has a zero infection risk • Never use milk from antibiotic or sick cows


Weaning

• Weaning is a process, not an event • Calves should be eating around 1.5kg of dry feed before weaning starts • This will generally happen around 8 weeks of age • Don’t combine weaning with other major changes, like de-horning or moving groups

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