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scores, concluding that this was possibly because their
immune status was better. They have also stressed that
across all the calf trials they have done, calves recording
lower daily liveweight gains never catch up, which really
does highlight the importance of the industry capitalising on
this highly efficient early growth phase."
Caitríona states that during cold weather, calves may need
to be fed even more milk. "When temperatures fall below
15°C calves under three weeks of age need more feed to hit
growth targets and boost immunity.
"Under mild weather conditions (15°C-25°C), for dairy
calves to grow at an average of 750g per day in their first few
weeks of life they need to be fed at least 750g of milk per day
alongside dry feed and water.
"But when the temperature plummets you need to feed
more. And if the temperature drops below freezing, daily
energy requirements increase by up to 30 per cent."
She also makes the key point that high moisture levels or
draughts just exacerbate the problem. "In fact, draughts of
just 5mph can make calves feel 8-10°C colder," she says.
Caitríona stresses that it is vital that all newborn calves
receive adequate good-quality colostrum (at least three
litres within two hours of birth), whatever the ambient
"When it comes to milk feeding in cold weather, you really
need to step up the level of milk solids by 100g per day for
every 10°C temperature drop below 20°C," she advises.
"This is best achieved by feeding milk more frequently and,
in fact, this only mimics natural feeding behaviour when the
weather gets colder. If calves are given the choice they will
feed at least three times a day ­ and if given free access to
milk, possibly up to 10 times a day ­ drinking little and often.
Keeping bedding plentiful, clean and dry is also important,
and consider too the use of thermal calf jackets. By not
taking measures to either keep calves warmer or increase
nutrition during extended periods of cold weather, you
could be compromising animal health through a reduced
immune function and daily growth will also be reduced.
And it's important to remember too to maintain good milk
intakes even if calves are scouring," she adds.
Response Paste,
15g (single application)
or 35g (double application)
given at birth
Response Capsule,
2 given at birth
Your calves will benefit from colostrum,
high level multi strain probiotics, egg
powder and vitamins.
For more information contact:
T.P. Whelehan on
(01) 4688900
or email
For a healthier start and
to improve gut condition,
digestion and growth rates
Choose from 2 different delivery methods:
Provita Eurotech Limited, 21 Bankmore Road, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland BT79 0EU
Telephone: +44 (0)28 8225 2352 Facsimile: +44 (0)28 8224 1734 Email:
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