Help and AdviceCalf rearing hints, research and best practice
@CalfChat is an initiative by Bonanza Calf Nutrition whereby farmers can discuss their calf rearing experiences. It is aimed to provide an unbiased platform for farmers to be able to freely share their experiences and ask questions they may not ask otherwise.
Now is the time to reflect on last Spring, ask yourself had you a successful lambing season? Is there room for improvement and what changes can you make to maximise the number of healthy new-born lambs into your flock?
Transition milk is produced by the cow after colostrum and before regular whole milk. The amount of milkings it can take varies between cows but it is generally milkings 2-6 post-partum.
Housing is one of the most complex elements of calf rearing. It is not possible to create the ideal calf house for all conditions. Understanding what we need to do for the calves and what we have to work with helps a lot.
During their recent visit to New Zealand Bonanza’s Christine Cummins and Amanda Dunn met with and visited several different people and facilities from research and farm advisors to key dairy and beef calf rearing units.
Feeding colostrum or a 1:1 colostrum: milk mixture for 3 days postnatal increases small intestinal development and minimally influences plasma glucagon-like peptide-2 and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations in Holstein bull calves.
Explore our useful tips for taking a dung sample for a faecal egg count.
After dosing calves how long would you recommend leaving them in the original paddock? Is strip grazing a good practice with calves or is it unnecessary? Is 12- 14% CP meal enough for calves at grass? Explore answers to some of the most common questions.
What is the ideal age to purchase calves? What should volume of milk/milk replacer should calves be feed in the days after purchasing? Is it important to thoroughly understand the calves start in life to make an appropriate decision? Explore answers to some of the most common questions.
What is a ‘late-born’ calf? Are late-born calves less likely to flourish? Is there any change based on whether they are a dairy or beef cow? Explore answers to some of the most common questions.
Assuming calf hits appropriate weights, what’s the difference you get weaning at 6 weeks or 8 weeks? What is the ideal weight for weaning calves? What do you mean by ‘sufficiently developed rumen’? Explore answers to some of the most common questions.
What is colostrum? How does a calf get its immunity from colostrum? How soon must I collect colostrum post-calving? Explore answers to some of the most common questions.
When a delegation from Ireland’s Bonanza Calf Nutrition visited New Zealand to learn more about dairy and calf rearing there, one was thing immediately clear.
Choosing a rearing system for orphan and multiple lambs that matches labour availability and numbers in combination with providing the right nutrition is key to success.
Calf milk replacers (CMRs) are typically formulated from a range of lower-value milk products and may have reduced curding
ability when casein proteins are absent or denatured. Whilst there are industry claims that vealer calves in Europe can be reared on
such CMRs, there is no NZ data to substantiate these claims.
Calf-rearing systems on dairy farms and specialist calf rearing units: results of a New Zealand survey
Calf-rearing practices were surveyed on 297 dairy farms with an average of 82 heifer and 24 bull calves reared. Only 21% of
the properties fed colostrum immediately on arrival at the dairy shed, and 30% did not feed their calves for at least 8 hours after
Farmer meetings on calf health.
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