Growth: Given the efficiency of growth in the birth to weaning phase investing in calf nutrition is crucial.

Growth: Given the efficiency of growth in the birth to weaning phase investing in calf nutrition is crucial.

Grow great calves with pre-weaning nutrition

Getting pre-weaning nutrition right is essential

Sponsored Content
Aa

Another rearing season is approaching, and MaxCare business manager Tom Newton said getting pre-weaning nutrition right will go a long way towards achieving your growth targets.

Aa

This is branded content for Maxum Foods.

Another rearing season is approaching, and MaxCare business manager Tom Newton said getting pre-weaning nutrition right will go a long way towards achieving your growth targets.

Mr Newton said recent data was presented showing a 130kg increase in 305 day milk yield, with each 100g per day increase of Average Daily Gain (ADG) in the pre-weaning period.

"With this theory in mind, if we can increase ADG in the pre-weaning period from 500g per day to 800g per day, this would mean an extra 390kg of milk (approximately 32kg milk solids per cow)," he said.

Mr Newton said increasing ADG can be achieved by feeding a high-quality Calf Milk Replacer (CMR) with nutrient densities which are above traditional rates.

"The graph pictured shows a traditional view of feeding 1.0 per cent of body weight with a lower nutrient density CMR (20:20, protein:fat) compared with a modern view of feeding 1.5 percent of body weight with a CMR containing 28pc protein and 22pc fat, for example MaxCare Ultimate CMR.

Major difference: Graph 1 details the impact of feeding rates, CMR nutrient density and ambient temperature on average daily gain. Source: Dr. Luis Felipe P. Silva (2018).

Major difference: Graph 1 details the impact of feeding rates, CMR nutrient density and ambient temperature on average daily gain. Source: Dr. Luis Felipe P. Silva (2018).

"The graph also demonstrates that temperature can have an impact on ADG.

"A 40kg calf fed 10pc of its body weight, in other words, four litres per day at 20 degrees (the thermo-comfort zone of a young calf) will at best gain 400g per day. The same calf at zero degrees will potentially lose weight.

"For every five degrees we drop below 20 degrees, we require an extra 1.1 megajoules of metabolisable energy to achieve the same result. This is the equivalent of an extra 50grams per calf per day of CMR."

What is our mature cow body weight target?

Mr Newton said we need to understand our desired Mature Cow Body Weight (MBW) to determine the growth rate we need in our calves.

"In the first six months, 50pc of our skeletal growth occurs and we need to achieve 85pc of our MBW after first calving. To achieve this, we need to have the following targets:

  • Weaning weight: 17pc of MBW;
  • Six months: 30pc of MBW;
  • Joining (15 months): 60pc of MBW;
  • Pre-calving (22 months): 90pc of MBW.

When do I get the best feed conversion out of my animals?

Mr Newton said the feed conversion ratio (feed:growth) at the different stages of life for a pre-calving heifer are:

  • Birth to weaning equals 2:1;
  • Weaning to puberty equals 6:1;
  • Puberty to joining equals 13:1;
  • Joining to late pregnancy equals 15:1.

"Given the efficiency of growth in the birth to weaning phase and the on-going implications of calf rearing on lifetime productivity, investing in calf nutrition is worthwhile."

Proudly Australian made and owned, Maxum Foods' MaxCare range of infant animal milk replacement products were developed specifically for the Australian dairy industry, using high quality ingredients to provide the best results for farmers and their animals.

For more information about infant animal nutrition please contact MaxCare on 1800 629 2273, email sales@maxumanimal.com or peruse the website by visiting maxumanimal.com

This is branded content for Maxum Foods.

Aa