Young calves are frequently housed in accommodation that’s somewhere convenient for feeding or unsuitable for larger cattle, rather than a building that has been designed for their own specific requirements. Whatever type of housing on your unit, check out the following three components – wind speed, air quality and humidity, together with drainage and hygiene.
Calves are born with an undeveloped rumen and an important step that needs to be achieved during this pre-weaned phase is developing this rumen. Early intake of solid feed helps to condition the immature rumen and encourage it to develop so that the calf can eventually obtain a high proportion of its nutrient requirements from solid rather than liquid feed at an earlier time than would naturally occur. Consequently, you will be able to consider removing milk from the diet after a period of weeks, rather than months.