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Costing for Rearing Beef Calves From Two Weeks Old

Costing for Rearing Beef Calves From Two Weeks Old

Due to an increase in block calving herds and milk contracts implementing new rules, we will see an increase in beef calves into the market. We need to work to rearer demands and produce a healthy, saleable calf that has received high levels of good quality colostrum and raised in the best environment possible with hygiene protocols in place. The importance of optimising early growth will help to produce healthy, more efficient animals for the UK food chain.

Give your beef calves the best start in life 

Ensure the calf is born into a clean well bedded yard; navel dipped and has received colostrum (10% of birth weight within 6 hours). 

Day 1-3

Colostrum/Transition Milk Disease Free, Clean 
Day 3-13 or Day 3-21 (depending on sale date) 3L per feed of high-quality milk replacer or pasteurised whole milk

Ensure highly digestible ingredients in milk replacer for young calf

Ensure the calf is well bedded with fresh water and access to a good quality starter feed


Based on the costings below, the calves have been bought in from high health farms at 2 weeks old. 

Feed Curve 

14-35 3L at 150g/L 3L at 150g/L
35-42 2.5L at 150g/L 2.5L at 150g/L
42-49  2L at 150g/L 2L at 150g/L
49-56  2L at 150g/L 0

The calves are fed on a good quality milk powder, with the above feeding curve in place, with fresh water, a good quality calf starter feed and barley straw for feed and bedding. 

Calf Costs - Reared Calf Costs February 2021 

Capital Inputs  Native  Continental 
Calf cost Bulls Av -  £186  £256
  £108 £192
Input Cost    £/calf
Milk Powder    
£/T £1,605   
Consumption per calf 43 £60.70 
Pre - Weaning Concentrate     
£/T  327   
Consumption per calf  42kg £13.86
Vets and Meds    
Vaccination  £12  £24 
Other  £12   
£/T  £102  
Bale per calf 



Electricity £2.50  
Water  £2.50  
Misc  £5  
Mortality  3%  
Total variable costs per calf   £128.96

Written by our Calf & Youngstock specialists, Millie Hendy and Hannah Braithwaite. For more information or advice, contact a member of the Calf & Youngstock team. 


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