The terms accelerated and enhanced have been used over the past 15 years to describe an increased plane of nutrition in calves. However, calves require that increased nutrition in order to optimize growth. Moreover, production objectives such as decreasing age at first breeding, improving health status, and ultimately building a more efficient and productive dairy cow is now an expected outcome of a calf nutrition program.
The basis of the calf growth model
The calf’s digestive system… Continue reading
Colostrum is the first milk produced after a cow gives birth; it is a nutrient dense, immunoglobulin rich milk designed for the newborn calf. Delivering that milk with care is the key to ensuring that a calf’s immune system (immature at birth) starts to develop. Making certain that this first immunological base is provided to young calves in a timely fashion will have a critical impact on the defense against health challenges common to young animals..
During the… Continue reading
- Always feed colostrum, the more the calf gets before 6 hours of birth the better
o Aim for 4 litres within 6 hours and then another 2 litres before 24 hours
o Colostrum can be fed for several days and there is some evidence that colostrum after 24 hours still has some immune benefits
o Consider colostrum replacer, such as Calf’s Choice Total, as a part of a strong calf program
- Transitions are always… Continue reading
However, calves require that increased nutrition in order to optimize growth.
Moreover, production objectives such as:
- decreasing age at first breeding,
- improving health status,
- and ultimately building a more efficient and productive dairy cow is now an expected outcome of a calf nutrition program.
The basis of the calf growth model
The calf’s digestive system is immature and… Continue reading
Newborn animals are vulnerable to infection and disease. Immunoglobulins (Ig’s) are the first defence against disease and necessary for stimulation of the immune system.
Young ruminants (calves, lambs, kids) are born with negligible circulating concentrations of immunoglobulins (antibodies). Ig’s do not pass across the placenta prior to birth. Since there is no maternal sharing, ensuring that calves receive these Ig’s at birth is the only way to protect a newborn from environmental… Continue reading
Principles and Experience
Producers have traditionally raised calves in individual pens or hutches. This rearing system has had advantages of individual feeding, observation and reduced risk of cross-contamination. It is however, still labour intensive. Dairy cattle are naturally group-living animals. Group-housed calves can enjoy an early social interaction and learn to understand group behaviour. Research is now proving that well-managed group housed calf rearing systems can provide advantages for both calves and producers.
Automatic feeding systems for group housing… Continue reading
This information is inteneded for those raising veal calves, housed individually.
- Calves should be fed twice everyday.
- Missed feeding means missed growth.
- Calves should be fed as close to 9-12 hours apart as possible for optimum appetite and digestion. These times should remain as constant as possible as calves are creatures of habit. Irregular feeding times will result in more refusals, especially with older calves.
- Two hours after feeding give water to all calves that didn’t drink half or… Continue reading
The 2001 study done by Thomas et. al. (App. Anim. Sci., 74: 165-173) concluded that significant vocalization differences existed between groups… Continue reading
In the last few years, larger calf raising units and more attention being paid to rearing costs and profits, has made it interesting to look into the possibility of on farm pasteurization for waste milk.