An area that a dairy can reclaim lost profit is calf management. Most producers know their death loss and health concerns in their calves and heifers, but many are not tracking growth rates. Tracking height and weight monthly can pay dividends by identifying opportunities for management and nutrition changes that will affect a producer’s bottom line.
- Feed 4 quarts of high quality colostrum within 12 hours of birth.
- Calves need to double their weight by 56 days of age.
- Check serum IgG levels to monitor colostrum quality
- Balance rations for growing calves.
- 2.2 lbs. ADG from 61-120 days.
- 2.0 lbs. ADG after that.
- Use MP balanced rations with a high level of protein to decrease overweight heifers at freshening and optimize growth rate.
This is a graph that I have created by measuring a group of our customer’s calves. Our goal was to increase body weight and height to freshen stronger heifers that will give more milk. If you would like me to come and measure your calves and plot their gain, please call Melvin at Medford Cooperative Feed and Grain at (715) 748-2096.