Knowledge base

We work closely alongside farmers, veterinarians and scientists to constantly expand our knowledge, which we are then happy to share with you.

| Housing

It is essential that you first (thoroughly) clean the calf pens before disinfecting them (among others for crypto) to reduce the infection load and the risk of disease. Leaving the pens empty and sunlight are valuable additional tools.

| Housing

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.

| Milk powder

When you know that depending on the type of powdered milk you administer, it will take anything between one and a half and five hours for the calf to process their feed, you will probably start to wonder whether it is not in fact better to feed a calf three times a day. “It certainly increases the rate of growth,” suggested Sjaak. “But it also means maintaining the same pattern in the weekends, too.” An automated calf milk dispenser can offer a solution.

| Colostrum, Milk powder

When asked which is best, a teat or a bucket, Sjaak gave a clear response: a teat. “The calf has to work hard at obtaining its milk. In addition, the posture is better when drinking from a teat, so the risk of powdered milk finding its way into the rumen is reduced.”

| Milk powder

Every bag of powdered milk features a feed timetable. According to Johan Verdaasdonk, young stock specialist of FrieslandCampina, it offers an ideal guide for the calves. “Never exceed 3.5 litres per feed,” Johan warned. “Four litres per feed means overfeeding.

| Colostrum

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 (diarrhoea) or lungs (pneumonia).

| Respiratory health

In selecting a milk powder, the essence is the growth and health of the youngest calves. For the past three years, dairy farmers have also been able to select a milk powder that contributes to airway health: CAIR. 'With Kalvolac CAIR, the calf has 33% fewer problems involving airway infections'.

| Hygiene

In this article we will focus on the importance of hygiene in calf rearing. Nina Hennes, our R&D colleague will share her expertise on this topic. "It starts at the immediate birth of the calf. As you know, calves are born without an innate immune system, which means that calves are very vulnerable".

| Colostrum

Good-quality colostrum contains antibodies in the form of immunoglobulins, abbreviated to IgGs. Thanks to their ‘life history’, older cows deliver better-quality colostrum. But the antibodies are not the only elements that make colostrum a unique product.

| Respiratory health

Alongside diarrhea, airway infections are the most common disorders affecting calves. And you all know what that means. Sick calves cost you money and valuable time. They also have disturbing consequences for your herd and as a result for your farm. Prevention is better than cure. Tips based on the experience of fellow dairy farmers across the Netherlands may therefore prove valuable.

We have selected the ten most commonly submitted tips and are happy to share them with you.

| Colostrum

Dairy farmers with a milking robot can quickly milk the cow, for the first time. “But remember hygiene!” emphasised Erwin. “Make sure the dump bucket is clean or clean the dump bucket carefully if it has not been used for several days.” It may contain a residue of milk from another cow.

| Hygiene

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. I firmly believe that good hygiene makes all the difference at the farm. But how does it work?

| Milk powder

Sjaak de Kleijne, ­specialist jongvee bij Agrifirm, hoeft niet lang na te denken over het antwoord op deze vraag. ‘De concentratie van poeder in de poedermelk. Het advies luidt 150 gram melkpoeder in een liter poedermelk. Meer dan de helft van de veehouders maakt de fout om 150 gram te vermengen met één liter water.

| Milk powder

Met zoveel keuzes in melkpoeder zit je als melkveehouder soms met de handen in het haar. Wat is de beste? Sjaak de Kleijne, specialist jongvee bij Agrifirm stelt de vraag terug: welke past het best bij je bedrijf? Hij geeft aan dat het doel van de opfok bepalend is voor de keuze van de melkpoeder.

| Colostrum

The more colostrum the better for the performance of the calf throughout its life, explained Erwin. “The calf grows more easily, can be inseminated sooner, and as a result will itself be able to calve at a younger age. In addition, lifetime production and age are higher in cows that receive more colostrum on day one.

| Diarrhea

Alongside colostrum, proper digestion of milk makes a vital contribution to the health of calves. The IMAGRO intestinal health formula already promoted digestion in the stomach and large intestine, and now, enriched with an emulsifier, helps improve digestion in the small intestine, too. As a consequence, the upgraded Kalvolac now offers optimum support to the entire digestive system, leading to increased growth and less diarrhea.

| Milk powder

According to the well-founded arguments of various experts, the best way to ensure successful calf rearing is to switch to powdered milk after two days of colostrum.

| Milk powder

Water is een belangrijk onderdeel van de poedermelk. Jongveespecialisten Sjaak en Ger geven een paar praktische tips waar aan te denken bij het klaarmaken van poedermelk.

| Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition that regularly occurs in many calves. Often something can be done about it.

| Milk powder

When it comes to calf milk powders, the choice is huge. Nina Hennes, employed at FrieslandCampina Research & Development, is convinced that anyone who looks closely at the rearing of young cattle must understand the quality differences of the powders. An essential nutrient for calves is protein.

| Respiratory health

Besides diarrhea, it is the most important condition among young calves: respiratory infections. Important causes: poor colostrum supply and a poor barn climate. A systematic approach can prevent a lot of trouble.