What to feed calves from the first days of life


In order to raise a healthy bull or a cow, it is necessary to provide the newborn calf with proper care and feeding. The latter often causes difficulties for breeders. How to feed a young animal before it switches to normal habitual food for adults? Feeding calves for months from the first days of life is described in detail below in the article.

What to feed the calves in the first month of life?

The first 10 days from the moment the calf is born, it must be fed with colostrum. Colostrum is the precursor of milk, it appears in the cow immediately after birth. As a rule, it is more than enough to feed calves from the first days of life, but if it is not enough, you will have to buy it or take it from another cow.

Stages of calf scar development

Together with colostrum, the calf receives the necessary trace elements and vitamins, which activate its immune system, causing the body to adapt to the environment, and begin to fight harmful microorganisms and viruses.

Regardless of the time of birth, the first portion of colostrum is given to a newborn 30 minutes after birth. Norm - 1.5-2.5 liters, depending on the weight of the calf. The first 4 days the calves are fed 6 times a day. From the 10th day onwards, the calf should get used to the 3-way diet.

A calf should eat 6-8 kg of food per day, that is, approximately 1.5-2 liters of colostrum or milk at a time. For about two weeks, he feeds on colostrum, and then on his mother's milk, but then he is transferred to packaged milk and whole milk replacers (“Kormilak”). It is important that there is no vegetable protein in the whole-milk substitute!

In addition to milk and colostrum in the first month, closer to 4 weeks, you can feed the calf with boiled potatoes and even begin to introduce chopped, liquid cereals (oatmeal, semolina). From now on, you can already feed a calf with hay with leaves of legumes. But in small quantities! On average, the rate in the first month for a calf is 1 kg per day.

In the first month of life, it is important that the calf has full access to water, but only from the 3rd day of life. A lack of moisture in the body can lead to weakness, digestive problems, and so on. Till 2 weeks give boiled water, and after idle time. Instead of water, you can use infusions, but still in the stall should be a drinking bowl with clean water.

What and how to feed in the second and third month?

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Feeding calves from 1 to 3 months

A month after the birth, the animal is considered to be stronger, its immune system is fully functional. Therefore, feeding calves whole milk can be almost completely stopped. The rate of milk per day for 2 months varies from 3-4 liters per day. That will be quite enough. Some breeders generally do not give a calf milk for 2 months, but if finances allow, it will not harm.

Now the basis of the diet - reverse. It begins to be given in small portions with a gradual increase in the amount. At least 4-6 liters are fed per day. Vegetative food is introduced along with coderse. To make the calf easy to get used to the new food, you need to buy easily digestible food with lots of nutrients. They are not cheap, but for calves at 2 months of age they are perfect!

If it is not possible to buy food, you can prepare it yourself for this, high-quality foliar hay and oatmeal (sifted) are taken. Separately in the trough poured hay with small stems soaked in a solution of salt. 800 grams of such feed for 2-3 months are given per day.

If 2-3 months fall in the summer, you can give the young individual fresh grass. Per day give up to 2 kg of green. From 2 months, vegetables are introduced, only they need to be given gradually, in some animals there may be intolerance to certain products. The rate of hay at this age is up to 1.5 kg per day.

What to feed calves up to 6 months?

Everything you need for feeding and comfortable calves

During the 4th month, feeding young calves is no different from feeding a 3-month-old animal. Only concentrates, succulent fodder and hay should be given approximately 1.5 times more.

At 5 months, the amount of skim milk is reduced to 3 liters per day. During this month, a calf should consume 1.6 kg of concentrates, 5 kg of fresh greens and 2.3 kg of hay per day.

With 6 months begins the active feeding of the animal. The main part of the diet - feed. The better it will be, the less vitamins will need to buy more. During the day, the animal should eat at least 1.6 kg of concentrates, 6.6 kg of fresh grass, 3.3 kg of hay. Reverse no longer give at all.

At this time, it is already possible, in full, as well as to adults, to give young plants vegetables and fruits that they like (apples, carrots, beets, potatoes).

What experts advise?

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In order for the animal to grow quickly, it is necessary to comply with some recommendations for feeding.

  • From 1 to 3 months, calves are fed using teat bottles so that they do not overeat, otherwise obstruction or intestinal upset may develop.
  • Any new foods are introduced into the diet carefully, in small portions, so that the body of the calf will gradually get used to them. Otherwise, the appearance of disease is not excluded.
  • With the development of the animal, its need for any useful substances increases. If you do not give the rate for which the body is designed, this can lead to slow growth and development of young animals, inadequate activity, and diseases.
  • Regardless of the age in the drinker, the calf and adults should always be clean, fresh water!
  • Separately, for enhanced growth of calves, salt, minerals, vitamins, grass meal can be added to the feed.