Farm - 04-11-2022 - Joe Pescod BVetMed MRCVS - 0 comments
Calf Care and Nutrition

Calf Care and Nutrition  - Full newsletter here

Clocks have just been turned back and shorter days have crept upon us, particularly surprising when we were just having 20 degree afternoons much more reminiscent of summertime. Forecasts for the future seem increasingly unreliable - war, weather and Westminster are keeping us all guessing. However, you do have control over your current systems and protocols. Reviewing and tweaking them to glean additional efficiencies should definitely make the to-do list.  

The most efficient period in a cow's life for converting feed to growth is during the first 2 months of life. This period is critical - if you can get it right, you are not only making the most of your whole milk/milk replacer, you are also setting up your stock to have the best start. These animals aren't providing any returns for the next two years, but with an optimal beginning they'll be healthy and resilient. All being well, this lends itself to high productivity and longevity which has benefits both financially and environmentally. Calves with poorer beginnings are more likely to be lost early on, sadly wasting the resources you've dedicated to them. 

When things are generally going to plan with the calves, it can be difficult to pinpoint how well and whether improvements can be made. This is where we need to dig up further information to assess where we are and make some realistic targets of where we would like to be.  

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