Technical Bulletins - Kälber
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Young calves have a special reflex to ensure that milk bypasses the rumen, reticulum and omasum and flows directly into the abomasum; the esophageal groove reflex. A proper functioning esophageal groove reflex
is of the utmost importance for an optimal digestion and growth of the calves.
The impact of rumen development on the growth of rearing calves is discussed, based the results of a VanDrie feed trial.
In “The 1KG Growth Program” that we developed, several factors are described that play an important part in realising maximum growth of your calves. Calf milk replacer is obviously one of the most important factors involved. In this bulletin we will discuss different feeding strategies that lead to higher growth.
The composition and quality of different kinds of solid feed are discussed.
An overview of the different feeding systems for calves, with each system's pros and cons discussed.
A summary of the most important factors that cause lung problems followed by a recommendation how to decrease the number of lung treatments that is needed.
A set of guidelines to achieve the best possible result in calf rearing. Colostrum, housing, feed and health are discussed. Recommendations and practical tips are given.
The influence of raw materials, protein in particular, on the quality of calf milk replacers and calf rearing in general. Protein digestion, protein sources, protein levels and protein types are discussed.
The benefits of sufficient water quantity and the most important parameters that determine water quantity.
Optimal housing conditions for calves, with a focus on individual housing, housing on straw, space, draught, ventilation and temperature.
The risks of weaning calves early supported by trial results and advice regarding CMR to ensure good health and growth.
Arguments for feeding calf milk replacer instead of cow milk to calves.
Feeding colostrum to the calves directly after birth is very important for the passive immunity and protein level in the blood is a good indicator for this. It is recommended to analyze protein level of calves on a regular base to check the colostrum quality and immunoglobulin transfer.
Instructions on how much and how to mix calf milk replacer.
The effect of the total quantity of milk replacer on the calf’s growth and. Comparison between 25 kg CMR and 35 kg CMR during the milk period. Comparison between 35 kg CMR and 50 kg CMR during the milk period.
The effects of feeding cow milk containing antibiotics to calves (waste milk).
Calves need solid feed for their rumen development, growth and for a smooth switch during the weaning period to a complete solid feed ration. We recommend straw as forage feed, min. 10-20% of total solid feed intake or ad-libitum should be provided.
Five groups of feed additives (organic acids, essential oils and plant extracts, probiotics, prebiotics and immunoglobulins) and their effects on gut health.