Feeding Calves In Winter

8 Jan 2016

Feeding Calves in the winter

Feeding Calves In Winter

In light of the unseasonably mild weather we have been having, calf rearing has been frustrating for many.  Still, warm, damp air is perfect for pneumonia bugs to thrive and the occasional drop in temperature overnight is not helping the situation.   It is always critical to ensure calves receive good quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth, even more so at the moment with environmental challenges being higher than usual.

In addition to the disease challenge, feeding difficulties are beginning to rear their ugly head; namely the temperature drop that occurs between mixing and feeding milk powder.  I have seen this on more than one occasion over the past week.  The water exiting the tank is the ideal temperature, but as it hits the cold plastic buckets it always loses a few degrees.  By the time the milk powder is mixed and the bucket taken to the calves, the temperature has dropped below the ideal feeding temperature of 40⁰C.  This problem is exacerbated on farms using large mixing vessels and will only get worse if we get a cold snap of weather.

Now is a good time to talk to your nutritionist about optimum temperatures for mixing and feeding milk powder and why this is important to calf health and growth.

Feeding Calves In Winter


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