The key points of calves feeding

The key points of calves feeding
21 Jun 2017

How do we calculate the optimal amount of milk or a milk replacer for a calf?

It is simple.

A calf, feeding with milk or the milk replacer, should receive a dry matter in amount of 1.65% of the live weight per day. Thus, a 30 kg calf should receive 0.495 kg of dry matter or 3.96 kg of milk / milk replacer. The ratio is 1:7 to convert dry matter into milk.

We often hear a negative reaction from our clients when we offer to use the milk replacer as a cost-effective product. Our clients have often had their own negative experience of using it or they have heard about it from their colleagues.


What are the reasons for many profitable farms using a milk replacer successfully, while their colleagues were unable to introduce it?

The correct preparation and calf rearing of the milk replacer is the answer. These are the rules of the successful use of the milk replacer:
  1. The milk replacer should be prepared in the correct ratio with water (1:7) 
  2. The water temperature should be 45-55 °C. It is necessary to dilute the milk replacer evenly and without lumps 
  3. The feeding temperature should be around 38-40 ° C - the usual temperature for the calf (the temperature of milk from the udder) 
  4. The correct amount of the milk replacer for each calf. Individual feeding. The correct position of the bucket with the pacifier.

The mistakes that our clients have made using the milk replacer and their consequences are given in the table below:
   
Mistakes
Consequences.
Secondary consequences.
Cold feeding mixture
Improper operation of the food chute
Diarrhea and dehydration. Inadequate development of the rumen. Disturbance of growth and future dairy productivity.
Getting milk replacer into the rumen
Gut-cooling, decay and fermentation
Overfeeding
Getting milk replacer into the rumen
Diarrhea and dehydration. Inadequate development of the rumen.
Gut-cooling, decay and fermentation
Single trough
Weak calves receive less milk replacer. Inaccuracy of diet.
Disturbance of growth and future dairy productivity.
Cross-infection
Wrong position of drinkers
Getting milk in the pancreas
Diarrhea and dehydration.


How to develope champions? Components of success. 

The calf feeding program must provide with gradually training for solid feeds. 
Free access to water is important for a calf. We often see that the water is carried 2-3 times a day in buckets on the farms of our customers. Only the calf knows how much pure water it really needs. Lack of water leads to a slowdown in metabolism, a decrease in feed intake, diarrhea, and temperature stress
Slow accustoming to solid foods is the key to successful development of the rumen (its suction surface), as a consequence, the milk productivity of the future cow. The surface of the rumen of different animals is clearly shown in the photo below. The first one was fed with milk, grain, hay and silage from the moment of birth without special control of quantities and cleanliness of feeds. The second one was fed with milk replacer, pre-starters, starters with gradual accustoming to roughage. The difference in the specific surface of the samples is obvious. The suction capacity of the second rumen exceeds the first in dozens (!) times 
It is extremely important to ensure the cleanliness of feed, especially in the first stages of a calf life. This helps to avoid diseases and strengthen the immunity of the animal. That is why the feeding program of the Mustang Nutrition Technology is about giving pre-starters from the 1st week, starters - from the 8th week, hay and silage - only after the 3d month. Thus you feed calves only with clean feeds in the first 3 months and provide the proper development of the calf's digestive tract. The principal feeding program of the Mustang Feeding Technology for calves offered to our customers is presented below. All products for this program are selected by our feeding experts individually for each client, taking into account the characteristics and problems of a particular herd. 

Age

Live

weight, kg

Weight gain, kg/day

Colostrum

Milk replacer of early period

Milk replacer

Pre-starter

Starter

Hay

Silage

1-3 day

40

0,10

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st week

42

0,40

 

5

 

0,13

 

 

 

2nd week

44

0,60

 

6

 

0,40

 

 

 

3d week

48

0,85

 

6

 

0,60

 

 

 

4th week

54

0,90

 

6

 

0,80

 

 

 

5th week

60

0,95

 

 

6

1,15

 

 

 

6th week

67

0,95

 

 

6

1,15

 

 

 

7th week

73

0,95

 

 

6

1,15

 

 

 

8th week

80

0,95

 

 

5

1,15

0,30

 

 

9th week

87

0,90

 

 

4

1,15

0,60

 

 

3d month

125

0,90

 

 

 

 

2,20

0,20

1,20

4th month

152

0,90

 

 

 

 

2,50

0,20

2,30

5th month  

179

0,90

 

 

 

 

2,70

0,20

4,00

6th month  

206

0,85

 

 

 

 

3,00

0,50

4,0

The total weight of one calf intake is 500-530 kg for 6 months of fattening. It is more feasible than 800-1000 kg intake with an excessive amount of milk (up to 450 liters) and a large amount of hay / silage with low nutrition value.


The economic effect is achieved in three directions:

  1. Reduction of the diet and the feeding cost (no mixing, easier feeding, less losses);
  2. Disclosure of the animal's potential (rapid weight gain-> early insemination-> high productivity);
  3. Benefits from the sale of milk when it is replaced by the milk replacer in the calves diet;




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