What to feed a newborn calf: colostrum, cow’s milk and milk powder
Before calving, in the mother’s womb, the calf receives all the necessary nutrition and vitamins through the circulatory system. In the last month, the fetus gains weight up to 0,5 kg per day, using the necessary elements for development. The born calf has a weak immune system and therefore it is so important to keep it healthy at toddler age. Full hardening of the body will occur only in a year and a half, a newborn calf is poorly protected from external influences.
What to feed calves in the initial period of life?
From birth to two months of age, the calf should be in a room isolated from other animals, where there are no drafts, and an even comfortable air temperature is created. Of particular importance is the feeding of the newborn.
The product received from the cow immediately after the birth of the baby is called colostrum. Nature took care of the newborn and in the first minutes the calf receives antibodies with colostrum to protect against microbes. The sucked colostrum immediately enters the baby’s blood, since at the first moment the walls of the stomach are permeable. With each passing hour, the permeability of the digestive tract decreases. Contained in colostrum loading doses of vitamin A and other nutrients cannot be replenished by other nutrition.
The use of fermented colostrum in an amount of up to 70 kg during the first months of a calf’s life strengthen his immune system further and will help to avoid diarrhea – the main cause of death of the offspring.
A newly born calf must feed on its mother’s milk for the first week. A perfectly balanced composition of the necessary substances and vitamins for a newborn should ensure a comfortable inclusion in the work of the fourth section of the stomach – the abomasum. The first three will start working later, when roughage is gradually added to the diet.
In this case, milk should be fed by cow sucking or through a nipple. During sucking, saliva is released, and with it digestive enzymes enter the stomach. That’s why breastfeeding should only be sucking, and not drinking from a bucket of diluted milk from the mixture.
The use of suckling by the calf of the uterus or artificial watering in each farm is decided taking into account the cost of fresh milk and milk substitute mixtures. Feeding with weaning from the uterus will eliminate overfeeding and the associated diarrhea of u8buXNUMXbthe baby. Milk will be dosed according to need, in the amount of XNUMX% of the calf’s weight.
Switching to powdered milk
Breastfeeding for two months is a physiological need of the newborn’s body. Wherein gradually activates the pancreas and a section of the stomach called the scar. When feeding with whole milk replacer for calves, the following rules are observed:
- observe the proportions of dilution of the mixture;
- use only freshly prepared mixture;
- the mixture is prepared in warm boiled water with a temperature of 38 – 40 degrees;
- observe the frequency of feeding and a one-time norm.
It is recommended to dilute milk powder in the ratio of 1 kg per 8 liters of water. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the change in the amount of the mixture to be drunk when adding concentrates to the calf’s diet from the fourth week. Since that time Whole milk powder is no longer used, and its mixture with reduced fat content. In two months, the stomach should start working and it is taught with coarse additives from oats or bran.
In the last century, it was believed that the entire period of feeding calves up to two months of age should be carried out with mixtures of powdered milk. Modern technology offers a more economical but equally effective whey-based substitute. These mixtures of milk replacer are called – substitutes for whole milk. At the same time, the cost of feeding livestock is reduced by 2 times, and the result is positive. The composition of the mixture includes up to 18% fat, 25% protein, vitamins and minerals. Important is the content in milk replacer of an antibiotic against diarrhea.
A mixture made on the basis of sour-milk production waste – buttermilk, skim milk and whey, is very nutritious and, depending on the age of the baby being fed may contain protein supplements And definitely vitamins. The gradual preparation of the calf for the transition to roughage is an important stage of feeding up to two months of age.
Used in the process of feeding milk replacer are divided:
- Milk replacer of the highest quality based on skimmed milk.
- Milk replacer zero with whey powder of medium quality.
- Milk replacer with whey and dry vegetable proteins.
They are applied gradually as the calf grows up. The last step is to use a starter containing more dry mix. Feeding with milk formula is stopped if the calf starts to consume up to 0,5 kg per day of the starter, when it reaches a weight of 60 kg or the end of the period of milk maintenance.
The composition of dry milk mixtures
Microelements and vitamins necessary for development in dry mixes are contained in sufficient quantities and provide the daily requirement calf in them. The composition contains calcium, phosphorus, copper, iron and essential vitamins.
The content of nutrients in the mixture:
- crude protein – up to 20%;
- lysine – 1% and above;
- animal fat – up to 20%;
- crude fiber – up to 3%.
Mixtures are used in different compositions with the addition of vitamins and different acidity for the purpose of zootechnics. So, sweet milk drink is prepared without acidification at a temperature of about 39 degrees and is drunk in doses, in accordance with the norm.
Sour-milk mixtures are consumed warm and cold. Warm milk is drunk slightly acidified after dilution. This has a good effect on the performance of the stomach, in its section of the abomasum.
A cold drink is given in the later stages of lactation. At the same time, milk is acidified with formic acid and given in plenty.
With any use of milk mixtures, it is unacceptable to use unwashed dishes, store milk in open tanks. The volume of the stomach of a calf is about one liter. Overfeeding can cause the development of putrefactive bacteria in the body and loose stools. Pathogenic microbes that have fallen with dirty and sour food will also work. The result will be diarrhea, which is fatal for a newborn calf. Maintaining the personal hygiene of the calf, cleanliness in the cage and warm mixtures with the addition of vitamins, cooked in boiled water, will help keep the offspring healthy. In the meantime, every fifth calf dies in infancy.
Like any living organism, a calf needs drinking water from the second week of life. Therefore, in between feedings, an artiodactyl baby should receive water from a drinker. The container must be kept clean, and the water regularly changed to fresh.