“A healthy start for a better milk production”
A calf needs good colostrum supply, attention to hygiene and housing. Add the best nutrition and you have the ingredients to successfully rear a dairy cow. Everything has to be right from the beginning to rear a dairy cow!
To support farmers in the best way, Nutrifeed developed informative video’s and a protocol about important topics around calf rearing. They contribute to the essential development of calves which grow into highly productive dairy cows.
To support farmers in the best way, Nutrifeed developed informative video’s and a protocol about important topics around calf rearing.
These topics are categorized into:
They contribute to the essential development of calves which grow into highly productive dairy cows.
A new-born calf is vulnerable. It has no natural antibodies and during the first few weeks the calf’s own immune system is still insufficiently developed to fight off infection in the intestine (diarrhea) or lungs (pneumonia). For that reason it is essential that calves be fed colostrum as quickly as possible following birth.
Colostrum contains high concentrations of antibodies in the form of immunoglobulins, abbreviated to IgG that protect the calf. But the antibodies are not the only elements that make colostrum a unique product; colostrum also contains other ‘life-critical substances’: white blood cells, growth hormones, vitamins, minerals, protein and energy. All of these ingredients help keep the calf happy and growing fast, also on day two and three following birth.
For more tips, information and video’s about colostrum management, go to our colostrum page.
After calves received a sufficient colostrum intake they will switch to milk. There are two types of milk that can be fed to the calves, full-fat milk and powdered milk (a calf milk replacer). More than 75% of the livestock farmers in the Netherlands use calf milk replacers.
A calf milk replacer has a number of advantages as compared with full-fat milk. What are these advantages?:
Johan Verdaasdonk, young stock specialist for Kalvolac about the advantages of calf milk replacers.
When using a calf milk replacer it is essential that the milk is prepared int the correct manner, in terms of temperature and consistency. A task that is of great importance in rearing healthy young stock and on most dairy farms executed a few times per day.
Watch the video of Johan Verdaasdonk, young stock specialist for Kalvolac explaining where to focus on when preparing a calf milk replacer.
Step by step explains our young stock specialist Johan Verdaasdonk how to prepare calf milk replacer in the right way.
It is important to feed concentrates during the milk period and after the milk period. When feeding concentrates and roughage stimulate the development of the rumen papillae. It is important that it is palatable, contains enough nutrients and also that the calves get used to the taste, smell and structure at an early stage. But above all, the intake of proteins, fats and all other important nutrients need to be sufficient.
Watch the video of Coco Bruyère, young stock specialist for Kalvolac explaining why and when feeding concentrate and roughage are so important. In addition, she shows examples which kind of solid feed you can use and why these are suitable to contribute to well growing healthy calves.
For more tips, information and video’s about calf milk replacers, please contact us.
Coco Bruyère, young stock specialist for Kalvolac explaining why and when feeding concentrate and roughage are so important.
Just like ourselves, calves are constantly surrounded by microorganisms. However, only a few of those microorganisms are truly pathogens and therefore capable of causing disease. Good hygiene makes all the difference at your farm. But how does it work?
By working in a structured way and keeping everything neat and tidy, the risk of transmission will be controlled. Which in the end will contribute to healthy and well growing calves.
In the broadest sense of the word, hygiene refers to preventive measures, on the one hand aimed at preventing diseases and on the other hand at maintaining animal welfare and fitness at the required level. These preventive measures are carried out on our farm, on the basis of protocols.
A protocol-based approach means that everyone works in the same way, thereby reducing the risk of contamination to the minimum possible. After all, surely prevention is better than cure?
For more tips and information about hygiene in calf rearing, please contact us
The first fourteen days in the life of a calf are crucial for the animal’s health, and for its future development. Accommodation has a huge influence. The calf deserves a clean, dry and warm environment. In a clean cubicle, with a thick layer of straw.
There are many aspects playing a role. We have selected the most commonly tips that have to do with housing calves.
The accommodation of your young stock is of vital importance. There is plenty to take into account.
It is essential that you first (thoroughly) clean the calf cubicle before disinfecting them (among others for crypto) to reduce the infection load and the risk of disease.
And what about hygiene in the calving pen? If a new-born calf ends up with its nose in a pile of dung, you can clean and disinfect as much as you like, but it will have started off with a disadvantage in terms of health.
Draughts in the cattle shed are the biggest threat to the health of your calves.
Young life benefits from warmth. It is therefore of life-saving importance that young calves be kept at the right temperature.
Watch the video of Johan Verdaasdonk, young stock specialist for Kalvolac about different housing situations of calves.
For more tips and information about best housing practices, please contact us
Young cattle specialist Johan Verdaasdonk of Kalvolac explains the different housing situations of calves.
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