The beef on dairy market is a rapidly increasing sector of the dairy industry. Sometimes due to on farm factors, the best option is to sell calves under 42 days old and it is often a respectable third milk cheque for the dairy farmer, other options are to sell batches of weaned calves or carry on through the system and sell as stores or finished cattle. The process to enter each market requires careful and forward planning and will be dependent on many factors.
Unfortunately, we cannot shy away from increasing feed costs but we can pay less attention to daily feed costs or cost per ton and more attention on costs per kg daily live weight gain.
Nutrients are valuable, whether this is through milk replacer, starter feed, minerals or forage, they all come at a cost!
Colostrum management is the key aspect to any successful calf rearing system. We know the importance of feeding our calves colostrum quickly (within 2 hours of birth), quality (>50mg/l) and quantity (10% of birthweight) but do we know the detrimental effect of the contamination within colostrum if we were to leave it standing after harvesting.
Posted in Dairy Farming
Losses caused by pneumonia in calves arise from: - veterinary attention, cost of treatment, reduced weight gain, increased feed requirements, increased labour. As well as longer finishing times and lower milk yields.
The main goal for rearing healthy calves successfully and economically is to encourage development of the calf's rumen, enabling digestion of solid feeds and reducing their nutritional dependence on milk.