How to Ensure Proper Well-Being of the Growing Calf

How to Ensure Proper Well-Being of the Growing Calf
Image source: | How to Ensure Proper Well-Being of the Growing Calf | Properly handled and well-fed calves have a robust immune response to fight against the challenges that come with an immature immune system. Proper calf nutrition, therefore, cannot be underestimated. Good handling and nutrition lead in less sickness and reduced antibiotic use and better performance as discussed herein;

Maintain High Level of Cleanliness 

Prompt separation of feed buckets from water buckets to prevent grain from being dribbled into the water and vice versa is paramount. Regularly wash and disinfect the feeding teats before allowing in the calves. Use appropriate sanitizer to clean all equipment and ensure you Calibrate automatic feeders regularly. For calves retained for breeding purpose, do not feed waste milk to your them but instead give them calf milk replacer, to reduce the risk of transmitting a disease that can cause the development of antibiotic resistance.

Stimulate the Calves to Experience more

The healthy social development of the calf depends entirely on its stimulation to experience a lot. Calves are curious animals that will explore their surroundings. Hence giving them different types of challenges and environments can stimulate their development. If they are not adequately produced enough, they can start showing abnormal developing behavior patterns. This can both happen if they need nutrition or in monotonous surroundings. Whenever a calf is calling a lot and often, it will most often be a sign that it is under stimulated, and a skilled farmer who is knowledgeable about natural behavior and needs will be able to know what is lacking. 

Give your calf plenty of clean Water regularly

Providing enough water in a calf pen is essential for calves as they are born without a functioning rumen which is developed by the fermentation of grain and water. The Calves offered free-choice water will take more calf starter and begin to grow at a faster rate. Weaned calves require ten to fifteen liters per day. However, this can increase up to twenty-five liters on hot and dry days.

Gradually Reduce the Volume Feed during Meaning Period

During winning time, feed your calf with the right calf milk replacer at the right age of the calf you are providing. All calves less than four weeks of age may not digest the same amount of ingredients as older animals. Hence make sure you gradually reduce the volume provided over seven to ten days to ensure increased concentrate intake and avoid a slump in growth rate after weaning. During cold weather, it is recommended to increase the level of milk by about 2% 

Provide Appropriate Temperatures for Your Calf

A calf is born with great sensitivity towards temperature changes, and often need others or their mother to help them keep sufficient body temperature. Small newborn calves can rest up to 20 hours a day and sleep for more than half. However, when they grow older, they can much better regulate this by adjusting their behavior, such as moving to another part of the room. After three-month calves sleep up to 25% of their resting time, and generally, cows and calves sleep many times, but shortly during the day. Therefore, you need to provide a sufficient amount of sleep for the health of both calf and cow.