REARING DAIRY CALVES

SPRAYFO 5 MONTHS UNTIL BREEDING

Maintain your focus on growth and apply a balanced diet

SPRAYFO 5 MONTHS UNTIL BREEDING

Maintain your focus on growth and apply a balanced diet

Feed a balanced diet to ensure sufficient growth.

Most farmers feed according to a well-designed plan up to the first few weeks after weaning and carefully monitor the results. Once the calf reaches the age of 5 months and the transition to a diet including forage was managed successfully, there is a tendency to feed what is readily available, sometimes without a clear view on the needs of the calf and also to stop monitoring growth and development in a systematic way. After reaching the age of 5 months, a balanced diet should be fed to ensure sufficient growth without excessive fat deposition. A challenge can be to feed enough crude protein.

Check your checkpoints

From weaning to breeding it is important to keep a close eye on the checkpoints. Each goal for Age at First Calving (AFC) has its own measures. Here an overview of checkpoints (Table 1) for a cow-herd with a mature bodyweight (MBW) of 700 kg. This is a normal bodyweight for Holstein Frisian cows.

Other breeds of cows have a different mature body weight (Table 20). This table is set for an Age at first calving of 23 months, for different mature bodyweight:

Checkpoints @700 kg MBW - Holstein Frisian AFC 23m AFC 24m AFC 25m AFC 26m
Bodyweight at 3 months 126 120 113 106
Bodyweight at 6 months 221 209 197 185
Bodyweight at 1 year 398 378 357 337
Avg. daily gain year 1 975 920 864 808
Age at first breeding 13 14 15 16
Age at first calving 23 24 25 26
            
Checkpoints @ 23m AFC - Other breeds 700kg MBW 600kg MBW 525kg MBW 450kg MBW
Bodyweight at 3 months 126 108 95 81
Bodyweight at 6 months 221 190 166 142
Bodyweight at 1 year 398 341 298 256
Avg. daily gain year 1 975 836 731 627
Age at first breeding 13 13 13 13
Age at first calving 23 23 23 23
            

Review your farm performance

Working on, or managing a dairy farm is a challenging task; day-to-day routines demand most of your time. Are your operating procedures well set? Do you get the most out of your work? Tough questions if you don't have any reference at hand.

That is why we are now offering you a simple tool which gives you feedback based on results from fellow farmers around the world. It can help you find opportunities for even better results.

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