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Feeding And Maintenance Of Calf

Feeding and maintenance of calf, are one of the most important factors in cattle breeding. Attentiveness during this process, is going to bring success and provide health and continuity for the herds. 

There are some main factors which should be considered in feeding and maintenance for calf as below; 

  • The preparation process for birth: Cows should be kept dry for development of the calf to 2 months for birth and the preparation of the cows for their lactation periods. They should be sheltered in gloomy and quiet environment by being seperated from other animals. 
  • Birth: Mouth and nose of the calf should be cleaned soon after birth. Moreover, the respiratory and hemodynamic system s of them should be stimulated by providing cows to preen them. Their umbilical cord should be cut from 4- 5 cm distance and disinfected. 
  • Feeding calf soon after birth: Calf should drink minimum 2 lt. colostrum in the first one hour. The consumption amount of colostrum should be 4 or 5 times a day and 4 or 5 lt for the first 3 days. 
  • The importance of colostrum: Colostrum is a very important nutrient for animals to take with its’ dense immunoglobulin material, casein, vitamin A and mineral in its’ content. It provides strength for calf to survive and immunizes against diseases. Additionally, it helps meconium in digestive tracts of the animals to remove. 
  1. The Importance Of Water: Water is an important nutrient for calf to consume during their development periods. It should always be clean while giving to animals. Water is a crucial need for rumen development, roughage and live weight increases.
  2. Maintenance In The Starter Period: Calf should seperately be sheltered from each other in order to develop healthily and protect themselves from diseases. The curtains should be clean, airy, sun-exposed and windproof. 

Feeding In The Starter Period

  • The Importance Of Milk: Milk should be given at 38 °C heat with feeding bottle by taking required hygenic precautions. It can be increased two times more than this degree in cold weathers. It shouldn’t be over the live weight. Animals can be ablactated after they become able to consume 1 kg calf starter feed daily. 
  • The Importance Of Calf Starter Feed: The starter feed should start to be consumed in the 3rd day of animals. Besides high pellet quality, high protein, energy and other nutrients are also required to be in its’ content. 
  • The Importance Of Fodder: Good quality fodders should be given to the calf which consume 500- 600 g starter feed daily. Bad quality fodders, negatively affects animal health. Feeding and maintenance in this period, are critical subjects to consider. Lots of changes shouldn’t be made at the same time and animals shouldn’t be taken in same curtains to shelter unless they sufficiently develop and become healthy. 

Feeding In The Growth Period

Healthy calf are maintained together in this period. They should be sheltered in dry, clean, airy and sun- exposed places and consume good quality calf growth feed, fodder and clean and fresh water. 

We should all know that; the future of herds are calf. Accordingly; we should provide next generations to be more efficient and healthy with suitable maintenance and feeding methods. 

İbrahim İNCE

Technical Support Representative

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