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 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