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Triple A Golden Maverick
Ireland's best known and
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Triple A Golden Maverick with ACTONOR
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CALF REARING FOCUS
JANUARY
24
Table : Feed rates for di erent breeds, in litres (grams of milk solids*).
Source: Animal Health Ireland,
.
Breed
Holstein; Friesian; HF X Norwegian Red HF X Jersey
Jersey
Birthweight (kg)
37-40
32
28
Volume to day 5 (L) Min 5 (625g)
Min 4.5 (563g) Min 4 (500g)
Volume after day (L) Min 6 (750g)
Min 5 (625g)
Min 4.5 (563g)
* Whole milk contains ~ . percent dry matter
When mixing milk powder, always remember that it is 125g
of powder to prepare up to 1L and not 125g added to 1L of
water.
RUMEN DEVELOPMENT
For the calf to perform later in life, it needs to have a fully
functioning rumen. Development of the rumen is brought
about by the starch content of concentrate feeds. Eating
calf concentrate as early as possible is necessary. The feed
needs to be very palatable and dust-free. During the first two
to three weeks of age, the calf consumes little concentrate
feed and is reliant on milk or milk replacer for its nutrient
requirements.
The amount of forage a calf can digest is small. High-hay
diets can cause calves to become pot-bellied, which can
diminish concentrate intake. To reduce the risk of picking
up diseases, calves should not eat from the straw bed, but
they should have access to some straw, or you can add 8-10
per cent in the calf concentrate mix. This will strengthen the
rumen wall. The inclusion of good-quality minerals, such as
Bioplex and Sel-Plex from Alltech, in the calf concentrate
mix is essential to help the developing calf and strengthen
its immunity going forward.
Water should be available to calves, separate from milk, at
all times. Any milk that is consumed goes straight to the
abomasum, leaving no liquid to digest calf concentrates in
the rumen.
Diet: milk only
Diet: milk and hay
Diet: milk and grain
IMMUNITY
A recent publication by Teagasc showed that 50 per cent
of calf mortality occurs within the first six weeks of life. A
robust immune system is required to reach a target of less
than 5 per cent of mortality during the first 56 days. The
biggest challenges from birth to weaning are scours and
respiratory infections. By building the immune system from
birth, we protect the calf and optimise its growth potential.
Including Actigen from Alltech in your calf feed will help
boost its immune system. It is a yeast-based product that
binds to bad bacteria and removes it from the animal. This
improves gut function and nutrient absorption. Actigen
enhances gut health by building natural antibodies. It's
proven to enhance feed efficiency, contributes to immunity
development and improve calf growth rate (see Figures 1
and 2), in trials carried out by Jud Heinrichs on pre-weaned
calves, Actigen improved overall weight gain. This was
brought about by more efficient use of feed (feed efficiency)
and reduced scour severity.
Figure 1
:
Trial carried out by Jud Heinrichs on calves.
600
P<0.07
500
400
300
200
100
0
411
517
Control
Actigen
A
D
G g/d
Figure 2
:
Trial carried out by Jud Heinrichs on calves.
6
p<0.05
5
4
3
2
1
0
5.5
3.9
Control
Actigen
F
e
e
d/g
ain
(k
g
)
CONCLUSION
In summary, along with management and environment, the
main areas to focus on this calving season are:
f
Colostrum: quality and quantity;
f
Nutrition: know your weight gain and milk allocation;
f
Rumen development: use concentrate and correct fibre to
build a robust rumen; and
f
Immunity: give it a helping hand with management,
environment and nutrition.
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