Quick Reference Card for Calves

Milk feeding plan

This document presents different milk feeding plans to fit your objectives and ensure maximal performances for your heifers. Choose the plan that best fits your farm or discuss it with your advisor.

Calf housing

The early growth of a heifer is linked to the future production performance of the cow it will become. It is therefore important to ensure that environmental conditions are conducive to growth before weaning. This checklist outlines the main criteria related to feeding, temperature, hygiene, space and ventilation, to be considered when housing heifers.

Growth objectives

Growth monitoring is the only way to assess your heifer feeding plans and management practices. However, measuring all heifers is time and energy-consuming. Best compromise? Use the thresholds proposed in this guide to monitor your heifer’s growth, available for all breeds, and to maximize your herd’s potential.

Jersey calf requirements

Jersey calves need 150 g of antibodies (IgG) in the first colostrum meal, ideally served within one hour after birth. Make sure to evaluate the quality of your colostrum with the appropriate tool and to estimate the antibody intake according to the results presented in this chart.

Calf requirements

It has often been said that calves needed 4 liters of colostrum, but in fact, they need 200 g of antibodies (IgG) in the first colostrum meal. This meal should ideally be served within one hour after birth. Make sure to evaluate the quality of your colostrum with the appropriate tool and to estimate the antibody intake according to the results presented in this chart.

Behavior and attitude

A rapid and early detection of attitude and behavior changes will bring a quicker adjustment and might prevent some health diseases in calves. Use this chart to train your colleagues and employees on the important signs they should notice and evaluate.

Freezing and thawing colostrum

Providing frozen colostrum to newborn calves allows you to compensate for poor quality colostrum and can be very useful for night calvings. However, freezing and thawing need to be done under state of the art procedures to maximize the quality of the colostrum, both nutritionally and in terms of immunity transfer.

Preparing the milk replacer

Calves like consistency! It is therefore important that the milk replacer is mixed in the same way every day. This practical guide provides you with the final volume of milk (l) to obtain for each quantity of milk powder ranging from 0.3 kg to 6.0 kg. Simply print it and display it in the dairy!

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