Keep them warm and they will grow.
Did you know, when a calf is comfortable, they will turn feed into gain more efficiently? In other words, a calf that isn’t comfortable will need more milk. Since keeping warm is energetically expensive it’s important to understand that a warm calf has more energy to grow! By using a calf coat, calves will use less energy for body temperature regulation, which in turn means more energy is geared to helping your calf grow.
Why use calf coats?
A calf coat helps young, small, or sick calves to maintain their body temperature, allowing the calf to save its energy for growth and/or to overcome illness. Newborn calves have low brown fat reserves (only 1-3% at birth for a 100lbs calf), which is a rapid energy fat source used to keep warm. These fat reserves can be easily depleted during cold weather, creating a susceptibility to cold stress and illness. In addition, small and young calves have a much larger surface area to volume ratio than an older and larger calf; more surface area to volume means a calf will be more prone to chilling with a greater surface area to lose heat from.
When to use calf coats
Use a calf coat if the ambient temperature is below 4.5°C (if calves are well bedded with straw, this will raise their ambient temperature). It is still very important to use a calf coat in conjunction with adequate bedding (straw is best for warmth and comfort and optimal feeding). It is recommended to have a calf coat as part of the on-farm calf management program for newborn calves, calves struggling with illness, or in periods when climate is cool. It should also be noted that calf coats do not make up for cold draughts – properly ventilated barns are still a necessary aspect to raising strong calves.
How to put on a Grober calf coat
Putting on a Grober calf coat is simple. Gently lay the blanket on the calf’s back. Connect the front buckle across the calf’s chest. Click the buckles for each of the straps and adjust for fit. It is best if you can lay your flattened hand inside the coat to ensure a snug fit. Be sure to adjust the calf coat as the calf grows to prevent any discomfort and ensure that it’s providing proper coverage. It’s also important to check the calf is not sweating. The calf will become wet, and this can increase their chances of illness and will definitely increase their level of discomfort.
Give your newborn calves an extra layer of protection from bad weather with a high quality Grober calf coat.
Special features of our calf coats:
- two sizes available
- advanced FIR-FLEECE technology
- durable, easy to clean
- retains less than 1% moisture
Contact your local Grober dealer about ordering calf coats for your farm.