Good care and favourable conditions help raise the calf into a well-producing ruminant!

The main goal in the early breeding of calves is to produce healthy, forage utilising animals for milk and meat production. The significance of successful feeding during suckling season remains the same regardless of the future purpose of use for the calf. A particular issue for attention is the calves’ sufficient intake of nutrients.

The best tender for a newborn calf is its own dam

The basic needs for a baby calf

  • At least 24 hours inside the calving stall with the dam, during which time the dam can lick and suckle its calf freely (drying, heat, suckling several times)
  • Colostrum acquisition is monitored and colostrum is given within 4 to 6 hours from birth (energy and antibodies)
  • The calf is suckled with a teat all through the suckling period (enhancement of digestion and satisfaction of sucking need, group breeding possible!)
  • The calves are placed in group stalls as soon as possible and no later than two weeks of age (physical training, social development, stress tolerance)
  • The calf tender must handle the calf pleasantly, starting from birth and at least a little every day (stress tolerance and cooperation)

A precondition for the successful development of a calf is a well-functioning digestive system

The change from using liquid nourishment into eating dry fodder should happen as flexibly as possible and without any growth loss. Special attention to calf feeding is worthwhile, and the best possible feed should always be reserved for calves.

The calf has to be fed and watered at least twice a day. All the calves must have access to fresh, clean water at all times. A requirement for normal development is that, besides water, the calf receives suitable start-up concentrates and good roughage.