Skip Navigation Links
About UsExpand About Us
ProductsExpand Products
ProgramsExpand Programs
LocationsExpand Locations
DivisionsExpand Divisions
Weather
Skip Navigation Links
  Skip Navigation Links  
 
 

Calf Nutrition


T.M. Steen 4/30/2015

Colostrum for calves

  • 3 quarts within 1st hour of birth – again 12 hours later

    • Timing of colostrum feeding is important – must be within 12-24 hours



  • Dry cow nutrition can affect colostrum quality

    • Low-protein dry cow diets produce low immunoglobulin colostrum

    • Inadequate selenium results in early births, weak calves, increases in white muscle disease, general unthriftiness

    • Low vitamin E diets results in decreased calf immunity

    • Immune status of the dam (relating to vaccination)



  • Age of cow – 1st calf heifers typically have lower quality colostrum

  • Monitor dam's 1st milk volume – cows that produce 20 lb or more at 1st milking typically have lower quality colostrum (probably dilution)

  • Monitor "leaky" cows prior to 1st milking – considerable colostrum is lost



Milk Replacer Considerations



  • Approximately 50 lb of milk replacer saves 400 lb of saleable milk

  • Diligent consideration should be given to weight gain and weaning goals before purchasing any given milk replacer.

  • Milk replacer nutrient levels vary considerably since certain products are formulated to target different levels of performance and intakes.

  • In order for milk replacer feeding to be a viable program, nutritional quality is of utmost importance.

  • Quality of protein and energy plays a large role in maximizing genetic growth potential of the calf.

  • Growing the digestive system as well as whole body

  • Remember, digestive function of 14-day-old calves is considerably less developed than older calves.



Feeding Program


Birth – 300 pounds bodyweight

  • 3 quarts within 1st hour of birth – again 12 hours later



  • Large breeds

    • Offer 2.3 quarts liquid milk replacer twice daily

    • This should provide a minimum of 1.7 lb of powder daily

    • Day2 – provide calf starter

      • Minimum of 18% CP

      • Do not offer any hay


    • Offer clean, fresh water at all times

    • Continue feeding milk replacer until calf is consistently consuming a minimum of 2.5 –3.0 lb of calf starter daily (generally occurs around 3-5 weeks)

    • Offer calf starter until 300 lb bodyweight



    • For accelerated programs

      • Week 1: offer 2 quarts liquid milk replacertwice daily

      • Week 2: until 1 week prior to weaning:  offer 3quarts of liquid milk replacer twice daily

      • Last week on milk replacer:  offer 3 quartsliquid milk replacer once daily



    • Day 2 – provide calf starter

      • Minimum of 18% CP

      • Continue feeding calf starter up to 12 weeks of age

      • Do not feed any hay



    • Offer clean, fresh water at all times





  • Small Breeds

    • Offer 1.7-2.0 quarts liquid milk replacer twice daily

      • This should provide a minimum 1.25-1.5 lb of powder daily



    • Day 2 – provide calf starter

      • Minimum of 18% CP

      • Do not offer any hay



    • Continue feeding milk replacer until calf is consistently consuming a minimum of 2.0 lbof calf starter daily (generally occurs around 3-5 weeks)

    • Offer calf starter until 250 lb bodyweight






300 - 600 poundsbodyweight

  • Nutrition must not suffer during this phase

  • Offer palatable grower ration – minimum 14% CP

  • High-quality forages (alfalfa hay or other legume/grass hays) can be offered

    • Forage is not necessary as long as grower ration contains minimum 20% fiber




600 pounds bodyweight – Calving
The objective of the feeding program is to have breedingage heifers 750-850 lb BW (smaller breeds 550-700 lb BW). Thus, the target average daily gain should be1.5-1.8 lb daily (1.0-1.3 average daily gain for smaller breeds).



  • Offer 4-7 lb daily of palatable grower ration –min. 14% CP

  • Monitor body condition closely

  • Use weight tape, if necessary to monitor bodyweights.

  • Routinely sample forages and balance growerrations accordingly


 
 
Keeping Up
Market watch
Links
National ag news
Resources
Career OpportunitiesCareer opportunities
Catalogs & brochures
Get in touch
Education & more
Programs & projects
What's New?
 
Facebook
Wikipedia
youtube
This document copyright © 2017 by Tennessee Farmers Cooperative. All rights reserved. Legal Notice