The key to the profitability of dairy production. Part 1.

The key to the profitability of dairy production. Part 1.
25 Feb 2017

Part 1

The general logic of feeding the rearing calves. Work with colostrum.

The basis for effective livestock management is the cultivation of a healthy raring calves with a high potential for productivity.

Balanced feeding during the growing period (in the first 9 months) determines the level of conservation, future productivity and economy of the farm.

For this, several key tasks must be solved, including:

  • Stimulation of immunity

  • Prevention of gastrointestinal diseases

  • Optimization of rumen pH

  • Stimulation of early feed intake

This will allow:

  • Eliminate production losses of raring calves in the dairy period

  • Reduce the cost of growing raring calves

  • Reduce labor intensity

  • Reduce the length of growing

  • Give a powerful start to the further growth and development of raring calves

Practical experience of the Mustang Nutrition Technology allowed us to generalize it into the following optimal feeding program:










Up to 3 days


450 G






Up to  7 days


470 G

4,5 L

50  G




2 weeks


520 G

5 L

150 G




3 weeks


590 G

5-6 L

250 G




4 weeks


670 G

5-6 L

350 G




5 weeks


740 G

5-6 L

450 G




6 weeks


740 G

5-6 L

550 G




7 weeks


750 G

5 L

750 G




8 weeks


800 G

4 L

900 G

500 G



9 weeks


800 G



1800  G



3 months


900 G



2300 G



4 months





2800 G

0,3 KG

2-4 KG

Drinking colostrum is the first and most crucial stage. The consumption of immunoglobulins gives passive immunity for the first 3-4 weeks of calf life.

Active immunity begins to develop after 6 weeks of life, provided proper feeding. Between 3 and 8 weeks, when passing from passive immunity acquired with colostrum to the active, acquired with milk and solid foods, the calf is exposed to the greatest risks.

In connection with this, it is especially important to feed the colostrum on the first day, since by the sixth hour of life, only 50% of the incoming immunoglobulins are absorbed by the calf, by the 8th hour only 33% and by the 24th hour the immunoglobulins are not digested.

The calf should first be feed with the colostrum of the first milking no later than 60 minutes after birth. In the first 2-3 days after calving calves need to drink colostrum 4-5 times, and then 3-4 times a day.

For the first time, he can get colostrum not only from his mother, but also from other cows, especially older, containing more antibodies and characterized by higher bactericidal activity.

The first portion of the colostrum should be 6-8% of the weight of the offspring, the daily norm on the first day is 17-20% of its live weight, in the following days - 20-24%.

Calves should be removed from the mother as soon as possible after birth. Colostrum must necessarily be tested for quality (colostrum from a mastitic cow will only harm). It is desirable that it comes only from animals with an age of not less than 4 years, who are on the farm for at least 1 year and who did not have the milk flow to calving. Colostrum of carriers of diseases (leukemia, paratuberculosis, mycoplasma, salmonellosis) should not be used for feeding calves.

The stock of colostrum on the farm is a smart decision. It should be understood that it is optimal to use fresh colostrum (up to 24 hours of storage). Frozen colostrum - used if necessary.

In hygienic conditions and in the colostrum, colostrum remains for 2-3 days. According to French scientists, in a refrigerator at 4 ° C it can be stored for 8 days.

An additional method of increasing the preservation of colostrum may be the evacuation of air from bottles in which it is packaged, in which case the shelf life is increased to 14 days.

There is an experience of freezing colostrum at - 18-20 ° C in freezers. At this temperature, metabolism in microorganisms and the action of endoenzymes cease, which almost completely prevents loss of nutrients during storage. Such indicators as pH, fat and protein content, dry residue and non-protein nitrogen remain stable. During 6 months of storage at -20 ° C, carotene losses were only 6%.

The effectiveness of frozen colostrum was tested by experiments:

  1. According to some reports, frozen colostrum is an effective means of preventing neonatal calves from rotavirus diarrhea.

  2. In the experiment, the retreat among young animals not receiving colostrum was 13%, and among those receiving maternal colostrum - 6.5%.

  3. Among the calves that received frozen colostrum, there was no waste.

Thus, the correct feeding of the calf with colostrum on the first days of life is the basis of the future economic efficiency of the individual. A number of key rules (partially described above) must be observed:

  1. Enough colostrum

  2. The correct drinking period

  3. Quality of colostrum

  4. The correct temperature of the colostrum (38-40 C)

To be continued.

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