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What should be the feeding of newborn calves and the rules for the introduction of feed

feeding newborn calves

The arrival of the calf on the farm is an important event. For a newborn animal, it is not only the care of the cow that is important, but also the attentive care of the person. Proper feeding of newborn calves will help them grow strong and healthy..

Calf care after birth

newborn calf

Caring for a newborn calf is just as important as proper feeding. After the baby is born, it must be placed in a dry, warm and calm place. The presence of high humidity and drafts can harm the health of the animal..

The optimal place for newborn calves will be special cages with a layer of straw on the plank floor and slots for urine drainage..

keeping the calf in a comfortable environment

Care rules in the first months:

  • cleaning in the cage must be carried out at least twice a day, wet straw must be replaced with dry one;
  • after each feeding, thoroughly wash the container and treat it with boiling water;
  • when feeding in the early days, it is better to use a drinker with a teat so that the calf does not take too large sips of colostrum, otherwise it may choke;
  • in the absence of such a drinking bowl, you can use the folk method – the finger is moistened in milk and with its help the animal sucks colostrum from any bucket;
  • after a while, the container can be fixed on the cage wall for the calf to drink on its own.

The calf can be in the cage for up to two to three months, after which it is transferred to a leash to the cow..

Feeding rules for newborn calves

first feeding of a newborn calf

Feeding newly born animals has a number of features that are very important for further development and growth. In the first 60 minutes of his life, the baby must suck colostrum from the mother’s udder. According to the observations of farmers, this factor significantly reduces the risk of diseases..

The first feeding is calculated from the weight of the individual, the amount of colostrum should be no more than 6% of the weight of the animal. How much milk a newborn calf needs is easy to calculate based on the weight of the calf.

In the first days of life, it is recommended to water the calves at least 6 times a day. Regardless of how many times to water the calf after calving, the daily milk requirement should not exceed 20% of the animal’s weight. After a while, the rate is increased to 25-26%.

It is cow’s milk that needs to be fed to calves in the first weeks of life. It contains the necessary concentration of vitamins and nutrients necessary for the normal development of a young individual..

If the mother has an insufficient amount of colostrum, you can feed the calf with semolina. To do this, use 3-4 tablespoons of semolina for three liters of milk..

it's time to introduce additional food

After a week, water is introduced into the diet of a young individual. The liquid should be warm. Give water to drink a couple of hours after each feed.

Also, a week later, hay is introduced into the diet. Only freshly cut grass is used for feeding. It is undesirable for dry and rough plants to be present in the hay. A gradual increase in the mass of hay by three months should reach 1.5 kilograms.

For normal functioning of the calf’s digestive system, milk feeding by 14 days should be reduced and not exceed three times.

How to feed a newborn calf

feeding a newborn calf with milk

To normalize the digestive processes, young animals after two weeks of age gradually to a variety of food.

calf diet from day 1

New products are introduced on schedule:

  1. Vitamin-rich carrots are added to food 15-16 days after the baby is born.
  2. Compound feed and concentrated feed are introduced on the 14th day.
  3. After three weeks, apples or boiled potatoes can be added to the diet, potatoes and apples alternate when feeding.
  4. From three weeks of age, chalk and table salt are added to the main diet. Finely chopped fresh grass can be moistened with brine. This will help not only diversify your diet, but also prevent the appearance of parasites..
  5. Beets can be added to the diet of young animals from day 30.

New feeds should be introduced into the diet gradually, adhering to the norms. Violation of the norms and rules of nutrition can lead to a delay in the development of young animals and disease of the digestive system of calves.

Feeding methods

methods of feeding calves

You can feed newborn calves in one of two well-known ways.:

  1. The drinking method is more common in large livestock farms. It is used for three weeks before the introduction of new feed additives. For this, drinkers with teats are used, which are filled with colostrum heated to 25-37 ° C..
  2. The suction method is more often used in private households. This feeding method has several advantages. Facilitates the care of young animals and shortens the cooking time, since there is no need to heat and pour milk.

Suckling calves grow stronger and healthier. Small portions of food are absorbed much better, which is very important in the first 24 hours after calves are born. The growth rate of young animals increases.

Proper nutrition and feeding of newborn calves will help raise healthy animals. Compliance with all the rules will increase future milk yield, as well as increase the amount of meat and improve its quality.

Care and feeding of newborn calves – video

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