Understanding the Calf’s Feeding Process

CalvesA person should wean a calf gradually using specific types of feeds. It is dangerous to use feeds for the mature animals since they can have adverse effects on a calf.

Takaninifeeds.co.nz shares the following tips to wean a calf in an effective way

Understanding Rumen Development

The calf’s rumen digests feed using fermentation; a process that calls for a development of bacteria in the rumen. This process takes three weeks after the calf weans, after which the amount of bacteria available in the rumen becomes able to ferment enough energy-giving feeds that the calf requires. Giving a calf quality grains and free-choice water helps its rumen to develop in a better way.

Weaning Age

In as much as many people wean their calves at the age of 7 weeks, research studies shows that the weaning age does not matter as long as the calf gets quality feeds. According to the research, calves that weaned at three weeks were equally strong as the ones that got a late weaning. Notably, weaning at an early age saves the cost of raising the calf in terms of labor and feeds costs.

Weaning Transition

Age is not the best indicator of the calf’s weaning rate. The determinant is usually the amount of the grains that the calf intakes. As the calf increases its intake, it means that its rumen’ development is progressing. Using the age to determine the weaning rate sometimes ends up in a growth slump that persists until the calf’s rumen development matches the amount of feed that the calf intakes.

Feeding the Calf After Weaning

As the calf matures, it calls for more energy giving feeds. Its rumen takes 4-6 months for it to develop fully, after which the calf assumes a full-geared feeding rationing. After six months, the calf graduates from taking grains to consuming forage. There is no need to mix the two feeds unless the forage has poor quality.

Sourcing for calf feed from a supplier who understands animals is usually an added advantage. The supplier is usually in a better position to understand the needs of the calf more than the one who deals with other products other than animal feeds.