Learning and implementing the calf rearing basics will ultimately save time, money and result in healthier calves – this was the key message delivered by Dr. Gemma Chuck from Apiam Animal Health at a recent dairy discussion group in South West Victoria.
Dr. Chuck explained that understanding, testing and feeding high-quality colostrum is essential for your calves. Using a Brix Refractometer (cost ~$45) to test colostrum quality and ensuring that all calves receive high-quality colostrum within the first 12-24 hours of life will have a huge impact on preventing disease and increasing production potential of your calves. During the discussion, a number of farmers confirmed they had noticed a significant improvement to the health of their calves by simply testing for and then feeding high-quality colostrum.
As a calf rearer, it is vital to review your entire calf rearing process and understand the key areas including record keeping, housing, hygiene and feeding programs. Dr. Chuck made further comments that when considering a calf milk replacer, you must understand the milk solid requirements of your calf, what is delivered in a milk replacer and to always use a reputable brand.
Tom Newton from MaxCare who sponsored the day also commented that when considering feeding additives to calves they should be used as a supportive measure but not a silver bullet. “Getting the key management aspects of calf rearing right should be the highest priority.” Understanding and implementing the appropriate calf rearing processes will ultimately save you money, time and produce better calves.
MaxCare calf milk replacer range
MaxCare calf milk replacer (CMR) products have been developed specifically for the dairy industry, using the highest quality ingredients. By value-adding and nurturing growth, MaxCare CMR products foster a healthy dairy industry. Good calf nutrition builds a strong foundation for healthy growth and development for your individual animals, your herd and our industry. Scientifically formulated using the highest quality ingredients, the MaxCare range ensures optimum health and nutrition for your calves. All MaxCare products provide high nutritional specifications and consistent quality in an EASY TO MIX powdered formula. MaxCare milk replacers are available throughout Australia and New Zealand. If you’re interested in learning more about our product range, click here.