Calf Management In The Pre- Fattening Period
There are some factors to be considered about calf management in the pre- fattening period as below...
- Hygiene and pregnancy
Hygiene is the most important factor to be considered in calf management. This requirement starts in the pregnancy periods of animals. Pregnancy divisions should ideally be separated from others and pads should be dry and clean. Besides, pads should be changed regularly and divisions should be disinfected to decrease their pathogen weights.
The immune systems of calves are weak and need to be developed during their growing periods. Because of the sensibilities of them, pathogens should be decreased and the pregnancy division should be draft- free especially in the cold weathers.
The quality, amount and timing of colostrum are very important. It is recommended calves to consume colostrum about 2 liters at the first 2 hours of their birth and 2 liters more at the following 6- 12 hours after birth. Immunoglobulins support the immunity systems of animals. Colostrum should be given to them on time and at sufficient amounts.
Bacterias are the good indicators for colostrum quality. Bacterial counting can be limited with sanitory collection and processing. Colostrum should be given to animals and frozen in the fridge for 2 hours after collecting in order to avoid bacterial growth. Colostrum quality can be measured with colostrometer for animals.
Dairy calves are fed with calf starter feed to fasten weaning. Feeding programmes should be used more densely in order to support growth, improve animal welfare and increase feed efficiency. Moreover, food and energy should be provided sufficiently in order to control body temperatures of animals. Milk consumption is highly important for animals. It should be consumed two meals a day at least. Besides; calf starter feed should be given to animals freely. Daily consumption should be 1 kg. High quality roughage can started to be given to them 45 days after birth. Both Calf grower feed and high quality roughage should be consumed freely 3 months after birth. Animals have to be able to reach waterers whenever they need to drink water. Minimum 2 waterers should be placed to each paddock.