The aim of any calf rearing program is to ensure that all calves are healthy and that replacement calves are productive over the course of their lives in the herd.
It has been estimated that 22 percent of the variation in first lactation milk yield can be traced back to the average daily gain of heifers. This effect is far greater than that of the heifer’s genetics.
Additionally, rearing on target, healthy calves will help to ensure that they enter the herd in the best condition possible, leading to improved adaptability to the milking herd and increased longevity.
Having a system suited to your farm will help ensure your calves have the best start in life.
Solid feed and rumen development
Understanding how the calf digests its feed, and how the rumen develops over time will help you optimise your rearing system.
What calves are fed early in their life will determine how well they grow and whether they will thrive as heifers entering the milking herd.