Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Feeding and Managing baby cow from Birth to 3 Months of Age

Heifers represent a significant financial investment in feed and labor as the future productive units of a dairy herd. This investment must be safeguarded by properly managing and feeding these heifers to mature into babby cows at the age of 24 months. The first two to three months of a child’s life are crucial for reaching these goals.

During this period, this factsheet discusses the key processes in rearing a baby cow. These steps are crucial for rearing orphaned baby cow as well as dairy heifers.

Nutritional Program for Dry Cows

Two months before calving, sound feeding and management practices for young babby cows begin with the dam or mother. The majority of the baby cow’s growth occurs within the dam during the last two months of pregnancy, and the dam provides the nutrients required for this growth.

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In addition, the dam’s management program impacts the quality and quantity of antibodies found in her colostrum, or first milk, which has a direct impact on the calf’s health after Birth.

Dry cows should be provided a well-balanced diet to suit their nutrient requirements and help the fetus thrive.

At the time of Birth, the calf needs special attention.

As the calving season approaches, the cow expected to calve must be continuously monitored for potential difficulties. Calving should occur in a clean, dry, grassy lot or a clean, well-bedded corral for cows and heifers. Pens should be square and give 150 to 200 square feet of the area; they should have adequate lighting and ventilation while remaining draft-free. If a windbreak is provided, beef cows can calve outside.

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Shortly after the umbilical cord is severed, the newborn calf should begin to breathe. The mucus should be removed from around the nose. Pounding on the calf’s chest or lifting it by the back legs can cause more harm than benefit.

The navel cord should be immersed (not sprayed) in a 7 percent tincture of iodine solution shortly after Birth. (Do not use teat dip or other iodine solutions that are too weak.)

After the calf is delivered, the cow should be permitted to lick it. The calf should be dried with clean clothes in cold weather or if the cow does not lick the calf. This procedure not only dries the calf but also promotes blood circulation in the calf. Dairy calves are usually taken away from their dams shortly after they have licked the calf clean (within one hour).

Early Colostrum Ingestion = Longevity

The mammary gland secretes colostrum immediately before and after calving. Only the first milking produces true colostrum. The cow’s milk is referred to as transition milk after the first milking and over two and a half days.

Babby cows are born with limited illness resistance or immunity. Through timely and appropriate intakes of high-quality colostrum, their mother’s first milk, they gain disease resistance from their dam. Early in life, a baby cow who does not obtain appropriate amounts of high-quality colostrum is more susceptible to illnesses. Within an hour of Birth, hand-feed 5 to 6 pints or 3 quarts of good quality colostrum to Holstein babby cow, followed by another 12 hours or the next scheduled feeding.

Farmers frequently allow the babby cow to nurse its dam. According to research, many of these calves do not acquire appropriate amounts of colostrum from their dams within the first few hours of life, and so may not receive adequate immunity to battle disease. Hand-feeding newborn calves are recommended so that a dairy farmer can keep track of how much colostrum each calf gets.

Colostrum should be thick and creamy inconsistency. A colorimeter (available through the Nasco catalog) can be used to determine the quality of the colostrum. Colostrum of superior quality includes more than 50 mg/ml immunoglobulins. The teats of the cow should be cleansed before milking.

Housing for babby cows

Babby cows should be housed separately in draft-free facilities with adequate ventilation. Calf hutches are one method of housing calves to reduce illness transmission from one calf to the next. These can be bought off the shelf or built on the farm. During the cooler months of the year, they should be placed on a surface with excellent drainage and bedded with straw. During the winter, the hutch opening should face south, allowing the winter sun to shine inside. Calf hutches should be shaded during the summer to reduce heat stress and assist babby cow immune systems.

Options for Milk Feeding

Babby cows get the majority of the nutrients from milk during their first two weeks of life. Calves can be fed whole milk, waste milk, reconstituted milk replacer, or fermented or fresh colostrum starting at four days old (Table 3). Price, availability, and convenience all influence the type of milk-fed.

Babby cows are usually given milk twice a day, either from a nipple bottle or a bucket, or they can drink from an open bucket.

The esophageal groove closes when milk or reconstituted milk replacer is administered to calves from a nipple or open bucket, bypassing the rumen and being redirected from the esophagus into the abomasum or actual stomach. In reaction, the groove closes.

Milk (whole) – Baby Cow growth secret.

Calves can be fed whole milk if they are young. Calves should be fed about 10% of their birth weight every day—the amount of weight (1 quart of milk weighs 2 pounds). For example, a Holstein calf born weighing 90 pounds would be fed 2.25 quarts each feeding or 4.5 quarts (9 pints) of milk per day if fed twice a day. If you feed less milk than this, you’ll be able to get away with it. Due to a shortage of essential nutrients, impaired growth occurs. Overfeeding and abrupt changes in milk supply can induce bloating and scouring in the stomach. Milk overfeeding baby cow’s consumption of dry feed or grain is reduced due to this treatment.

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